Johannesburg - Australia needed 88 runs to secure victory and level the Test series against South Africa, but had only four wickets in hand going into the final session of a tense battle at the Wanderers on Monday.
Play only got underway after lunch on the final day of the match after the morning session was lost to rain.
Australia lost both their overnight batsmen early in the first session of play.
Resuming at 142/3, Michael Clarke, who made two, did not last long, adding only one run to his overnight score before he was bowled through the gate by Vernon Philander.
Ricky Ponting, the subject of much discussion as he fights for survival in the Australian team, seemed to settle in with Michael Hussey as the pair ran well between the wickets.
Just when the Baggy Greens looked to be chasing down their target, Ponting tried to cut a shortish delivery from Morne Morkel and top-edged it to Jacques Rudolph at second slip for 62.
It was a huge wicket for the Proteas as it brought out-of-form Brad Haddin to the crease.
Hussey, however, fell next, trapped lbw to Philander for 39.
At tea, Australia were 222/6 with Haddin on 24 and Mitchell Johnson on six.