England need 6 wickets on a final day to finish feat in a initial Test opposite South Africa in Durban.
Steven Finn (3-27) reduced a hosts to 136-4 after England had set them 416 – a second tip follow ever – to win.
Earlier, Jonny Bairstow strike 79 – his best Test measure for 3 years – and Joe Root 73 as England reached 326 in their second innings.
England are complicated favourites to acquire a singular divided win, though pivotal batsman AB de Villiers stays dominant on 37.
He was reprieved 6 overs before a tighten when Bairstow missed a tough possibility to branch him off a bowling of Moeen Ali.
Alastair Cook’s group have won usually one of their final 15 abroad Tests, though they have consistently outplayed a world’s top-ranked Test side in this match.
The Proteas, meanwhile, have concerns over captain Hashim Amla, who again unsuccessful with a bat, and talismanic discerning bowler Dale Steyn, who did not play after injuring his shoulder on a third day.
Bairstow proves his value with a bat
England resumed on 172-3, 261 runs ahead, looking for discerning runs to set South Africa a severe target, and in that context Bairstow’s fast innings was intensely valuable.
Playing with considerable fluency on a wicket on that scoring has generally been formidable and slow, a Yorkshire batsman struck 9 fours and 3 sixes.
It was a poignant hit from Bairstow, who is still seeking to settle himself as a permanent tie in this England side forward of opposition wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler.
But he could not record his lass Test century, holing out off part-timer Stiaan outpost Zyl – who finished with 3-20 – as he unselfishly attempted to accelerate with a stipulation in prospect.
Earlier, Root combined usually 13 runs to his overnight measure before circumference Kyle Abbott to slip, stability a settlement of unwell to modify fifties into hundreds – a series 4 has usually 3 centuries in 2015, notwithstanding carrying upheld 50 13 times.
Ben Stokes’ gaunt run with a bat continued as he edged Piedt to trip for 5 – a eighth time he has unsuccessful to pass 5 in his final 13 innings – though Chris Woakes contributed 23 in a useful cameo.
Finn fires to indurate place
The hosts began good with a bat, with first-innings centurion Dean Elgar and Van Zyl enormous 8 bounds in a initial 9 overs as they raced to South Africa’s initial 50 partnership for a opening wicket in 9 innings.
But Stokes private Van Zyl usually before tea, snapping a smoothness between bat and pad.
Then it was over to Finn, who continued his excellent wicket-taking form given being private to a side in a summer with a glorious detonate in a dusk session.
First he prompted a out-of-form Amla to follow a far-reaching smoothness and corner behind, afterwards he had Elgar condense a full smoothness to Root, who hold a pointy locate during second slip.
And in a final over of a day, he finished a insurgency of Faf du Plessis, producing a pleasing smoothness that squared a batsman adult and was edged to Cook during initial slip.
Finn now looks a complicated favourite to keep his place forward of Woakes if James Anderson earnings from damage for a second Test, that starts in Cape Town on Saturday.
His career strike rate in Tests now stands during one wicket each 46.3 balls – second usually to Steyn among active bowlers.
The one cut in a dusk event was a formidable stumping possibility missed by Bairstow, that reprieved De Villiers on 33, when a round incited neatly from outward off branch and bounced over middle.
Bairstow skip will dawdle in memory – Agnew
BBC cricket compare Jonathan Agnew: “Jonny Bairstow batted well. He has been a usually beat with any fluency in a match. He astounded people with his timing on this really delayed pitch, that nobody has been means to get on tip of.
“The problem is that he missed a stumping, and we think it competence be that for that his grant to this compare is remembered.
“It wasn’t straightforward, he usually had a fragment of a second to see it, though Test cricket is a tip turn and AB de Villiers is a pivotal batsman.
“England have bowled good on a representation that has turn a bit benign, though when batsmen are looking to bat they are tough to prize out and you’ve usually to got take each half chance.”
Stats of a day
- Joe Root finishes a year with 1,385 runs in 14 Tests, scoring 3 hundreds and 10 half centuries during an normal of 62.77.
- His is a second tip total for England ever behind Michael Vaughan’s 1,481 in 2002 and a second tip this year behind Australia’s Steve Smith, who finished with 1,474.
- Dane Piedt is a initial South African spinner to take a five-for during Durban given Hugh Tayfield in 1957.
- It is 38 Tests given England final had a stumping: India’s Cheteshwar Pujara, stumped by Matt Prior off Graeme Swann for 135 in 2012 in a second Test in Mumbai.
What they said
England bowler Steven Finn on BBC Test Match Special: “It’s good to be contributing when we come behind into a team. we felt good and felt we was threatening. It was critical to mangle that realistic partnership during a end. After tea we built some-more vigour and my wicket during a finish was down to a tough work of all a bowlers.
“We are happy to have them 4 down. We would have favourite some-more though can’t protest about a position we are in and hopefully we can come behind tomorrow and claim ourselves further.
“They still have some high peculiarity players to come with Test hundreds to their names. Obviously De Villiers would be a pivotal wicket to get since he’s such a good player. Each dusk a teams have been 3 or 4 down and not lasted most longer than an hour after lunch. If we can follow that we’ll be happy though we’re not awaiting that and know we have to play like we did after tea today.”
Ex-England opener Geoffrey Boycott on BBC Test Match Special: “England had a smashing day. Root and a tail got us off easily and afterwards it was a Bairstow show. The timing of his shots were superb. He played a initial and second innings ideally and he was a usually batsman that played with any fluency.
“Finn and Moeen have a present of removing wickets. Finn gets 4 wickets a Test compare – that’s huge. He’d play in my group each time.
“De Villiers is a category apart, he usually has so most time to play, has a far-reaching operation of shots and looks comfortable. Lesser players play and skip an peculiar time, though he doesn’t demeanour in any difficulty and it’s a warn when he creates a mistake. He’s a large fish they need to get tomorrow.”