Teenage fast bowler Pat Cummins took six wickets on his debut as Australia kept alive their hopes of squaring the series on the fourth day of the second and final Test against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.
A century partnership between Usman Khawaja (65) and Ricky Ponting (54 not out) enabled Australia to reach 142 for three at the close, 168 runs short of achieving the highest successful run chase at the Wanderers.
Khawaja was caught at slip off leg-spinner Imran Tahir one ball before bad light ended play after he and Ponting had put on 122 for the third wicket.
Cummins took six for 79 and was mainly responsible for South Africa being bowled out for 339, leaving Australia with 310 to win. Hashim Amla top-scored for South Africa with 105.
The target seemed a distant one when Shane Watson padded up to Vernon Philander and was bowled by the second ball of Australia's second innings. Philander followed up in his next over when Phil Hughes was caught at second slip.
But Khawaja and Ponting, both with points to prove, batted sensibly to blunt South Africa's attack.
Brief scores: South Africa 266 and 339 (Amla 105, AB de Villiers 73; P Cummins 6-79) v Australia 296 and 142-3 (Khawaja 65, Ponting 54 batting).