South Africa's batting crumbled after Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson struck hard at their top order on a dramatic second day of the second Test at Kingsmead here on Saturday.
South Africa were 138 for seven at the close in reply to Australia's first innings total of 352. Johnson took two wickets in his first over, then forced Graeme Smith to retire hurt with the third ball of his next over to throw the South African innings into disarray.
Smith was unlikely to bat again after suffering a fracture at the base of the little finger on his right hand, an injury likely to keep him out of action for two to three weeks, almost certainly ruling him out of the third and final Test.
In a second spell Johnson hit senior batsman Jacques Kallis on the jaw. He too retired hurt.
He required three stitches under his chin. But X-rays revealed no damage and Kallis returned to bat at the fall of the fifth wicket. He was dismissed two balls later without adding to his score of 22.
Johnson yorked Mark Boucher and had figures of three for 37, while medium-pacer Andrew McDonald took three for 25. JP Duminy was the only South African batsman to play with confidence, making 73 not out.
South Africa's collapse came after the hosts had fought back earlier in the day, taking the last six Australian wickets for 49 runs, including the last five for four runs in 18 balls.
Wickets tumbled on Saturday after rain delayed the start of play by half an hour. Australia slumped from their overnight 303 for four.