South African fast bowlers Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn took three wickets each as England were made to work hard for runs on the second day of the third Test at Newlands on Monday.
England were 241-7 at the close, 50 behind South Africa’s first innings total of 291.
Thanks mainly to Morkel, who took three for 57, and Steyn (three for 64), England were unable to take control despite ripping through the South African lower batting order early in the day.
Seven wickets fell during morning’s play, with South Africa losing their last four for 12 runs in 17 balls at the start of the day and England slumping to 64-3 at lunch.
Another wicket fell post lunch when Paul Collingwood was leg before wicket to Morne Morkel for 19. Alastair Cook (65) and Ian Bell (48) put on 60 for the fifth wicket and there were further useful partnerships of 41 between Bell and Matt Prior (50 not out) and 51 between Prior and Stuart Broad (25).
But every time it seemed England were getting on top one of the South African bowlers would strike to make the game even again.
Cook followed up his century when England won the second Test in Durban by an innings and 98 runs with another careful innings.