Lyon and Paine frustrate Proteas after Morkel joins 300 club
Morne Morkel took his 300th Test wicket as South Africa had the better of day two but a defiant ninth-wicket stand from Nathan Lyon and Tim Paine gave Australia hope at Newlands.
The magnificent Dean Elgar spent over seven hours at the crease and was 141 not out when the Proteas were bowled out for 311, Lyon (2-43) taking the final two wickets on Friday.
Morkel (4-87) then became the fifth South African to reach the 300-wicket mark in the longest format, while Kagiso Rabada (3-81) - cleared to play after appealing against a two-match ban - and Vernon Philander (2-26) also did damage to put Australia on the ropes.
Cameron Bancroft made 77 at the top of the order but the tourists were in deep trouble on 175-8 before Lyon, who made a Test-best 47 off only 38 balls, and Tim Paine (33no) put on 66 for the ninth wicket.
Stumps were called due to bad light with Australia 245-9, trailing by 66 runs.
He's done it! Take a bow, you absolute legend! @mornemorkel65 takes his 300th Test wicket. Shaun Marsh is gone for 26. AUS 150/4 (34.3 ovs), trails b 161. #ProteaFire #SAvAUS #SunfoilTest pic.twitter.com/Kszmow2rDg— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) March 23, 2018
Pat Cummins tore through South Africa in the evening session on day one, but the immovable Elgar and Rabada (22) put on 50 for the ninth wicket to get their side over the 300 mark after resuming on 266-8.
Lyon had Rabada and Morkel caught by Steve Smith at first slip to end the innings, the steely Elgar - who struck a six and 20 fours - carrying his bat.
David Warner targeted Rabada when Australia started their reply, hitting him for three consecutive boundaries and a huge six before the quick removed his off stump to send the opener on his way for 30 off only 14 balls.
Warner exchanged words with a supporter as he trudged off and Australia were 72-3 with Usman Khawaja and captain Smith falling for five apiece to Morkel either side of lunch.
Bancroft looked composed and Shaun Marsh (26) provided support in a much-needed partnership of 78, the opener timing the ball exquisitely to find the boundary on both sides of the wicket to bring up his third Test half-century off 59 balls.
Marsh gave it away when he was caught behind chasing a wide delivery to take Morkel into the 300 club and Philander got in the on act by trapping Bancroft in front before getting rid of Mitchell Marsh in a superb spell.
Australia had lost five wickets for 25 runs and were teetering on 175-8 after AB de Villiers caught Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc at second slip off Rabada, but Lyon and Paine frustrated the Proteas in the final session with Philander off the field with whiplash after falling awkwardly attempting a catch.
Lyon took a positive approach, hitting eight fours and looking set for a maiden Test half-century after being dropped by Hashim Amla and De Villiers, but Elgar caught the spinner superbly to give Morkel a fourth wicket and stumps were drawn soon after with the solid Paine still holding fort.