Cape Town - Proteas captain Hashim Amla scored his fourth Test double hundred on Tuesday morning as the Proteas took another significant step towards saving the second Test against England at Newlands.
At lunch South Africa were 428/3, having not lost a wicket in the opening session of the day, with Hashim Amla 200* and Faf du Plessis rock solid on 81*.
There was a huge scare for the Proteas when Amla, on 197* at the time, went after Moeen Ali in the second over before lunch in an attempt to bring up his 200 but lobbed the ball skywards.
Joe Root at mid-on misjudged completely, picking the trajectory up far too late, and the ball landed safely between him and Alastair Cook at mid-off.
Amla had his double ton the next ball when he pushed a single to Root.
The closest England came to a wicket before that was in the 145th over, when Du Plessis went hard at a full Ali delivery only to edge between wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow and James Anderson at first slip.
It was only half a chance, but Anderson may have done better as he appeared - for the second time in the match after dropping Amla on Monday - to react late.
The morning was was all about discipline in shot selection and unwavering focus as the batting pair waited patiently for loose deliveries to score off.
At the break the Proteas had scored 75 runs in the 30 over session.
It was hardly a riveting morning, but it was a crucially important one for South Africa.
Despite edging closer to saving the Test, the return to form of Amla and Du Plessis can only bode well for the home side in their bid to win in Johannesburg and Pretoria.
The deficit remains 201, but the fourth wicket partnership now stands at 160.