The crucial third Castle Lager Test between South Africa and England was delicately poised at close of play on Monday, with South Africa having a marginal edge in a Test they have to win to prevent a series defeat.
At stumps, England were 241 for seven, trailing South Africa by 50 runs.
South Africa had a disastrous start to the day, losing their last four wickets in 20 minutes off 17-balls, to end on 291.
Jacques Kallis was out second ball of the day without adding to his overnight score of 108.
Kallis said the dramatic collapse had been a bit of a shock, but that history had shown that the Newlands pitch was always difficult to bat on in the morning, especially against the new ball.
“But although it was a bit of a shock, we also knew that we had the morning to bowl against England with the new ball,” he told journalists.
“If we can knock over their tail they way they did to us this morning and then get through the new ball, then we’ll feel we are on top of the game,” he said. “The guys are pretty upbeat in the changeroom right now.”
Kallis said he thought South Africa had been successful because they had maintained pressure throughout the day, even though some of the batsmen had fallen to poor deliveries.
“That’s what pressure does,” he explained. “If the opposition are under pressure and struggling to score, when the bad balls come, they try to do too much.”
He said South Africa would like to give England a target of 300-plus to win the Test.
“It’s going to be very tough chasing down anything more than 300 on this wicket,” he said.
“It’s going to be tough to get there, but the guys are up for a fight, and we know we have to win this Test.”
England opener, Alastair Cook, who made a patient 65 and who shared in a crucial fifth-wicket stand with Ian Bell, said South Africa had to be given credit for some very good bowling.
“They didn’t bowl many bad balls and they kept us under constant pressure,” he said. “We’re 50 runs behind and we want to get as close to them as possible tomorrow.
“Then hopefully, we’ll bowl as well to them as we have done on tour.” – Sapa