England fought back strongly in the evening session after centuries from Hashim Amla and debutant Stephen Cook handed South Africa the early initiative on day one of the fourth and final Test at Centurion.
Another stunning James Taylor catch at short-leg handed the tourists, who with a 2-0 lead already have the series in the bag, an early breakthrough after AB de Villiers won the toss and chose to make first use of a flat deck.
Amla produced a string of stylish cover drives off front and back foot as he raced to three figures and 33-year-old Cook became the 100th Test debutant to score a century shortly after tea.
But from a position of dominance at 237 for one, the Proteas lost four wickets for 36 runs as England rallied late in the day.
However, there was a final twist as Temba Bavuma and Quinton de Kock scored freely against the second new ball to add an unbroken 56-run stand for the sixth wicket, with South Africa 329 for five at stumps.
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