Johannesburg - Vernon Philander struck twice in his first two overs against Australia, leaving the visitors reeling at 64 for two in their second innings at tea on the fourth day of the final Test at the Wanderers on Sunday.
Chasing 310 to level the series, Australia went into tea still needing 246 runs with eight wickets in hand.
Philander hit the target with his second ball, which straightened from a length on off-stump and clipped Shane Watson’s bails before Australia had a run on the board.
In his next over, Phillip Hughes (11) had no time to pull away as he edged Philander to Jacques Kallis at second slip.
At 19 for two, the old and the new occupied the crease.
Twenty-four year old Usman Khawaja, playing in only his fourth Test, replacing the injured Shaun Marsh at three, was joined by Ricky Ponting possibly playing in his last Test match for Australia.
Ponting has served his country well, playing in 156 Test matches and winning more games as captain (48) than any other in the history of Test cricket.
He is third on the list of all-time run-makers with 12 495 Test runs under his belt, but he has failed to reach double figures in half of his last 14 innings’, of which his highest score was 48.
He made a duck in the first innings here, his second of the series, having scored eight and nought at Newlands, and is under increasing pressure to score runs.
Earlier, South Africa were bowled out for 339 with Dale Steyn (41) and Philander (23) frustrating the Aussies with a 48-run 8th wicket partnership.
Hashim Amla scored his 14th Test century, off 222 balls with 14 boundaries, while teenage debutant Pat Cummins returned figures of six for 79 for Australia in only his fourth first class match.
At tea, Khawaja was unbeaten on 26 and Ponting on 23.