Cape Town - Sam Curran ended Pieter Malan's long vigil but England were able to claim only one wicket between lunch and tea as they pushed for a series-levelling win on the fifth day of the second Test against South Africa at Newlands on Tuesday.
South Africa, needing an increasingly improbable 438 to win, were 225 for five at tea, with a minimum of 31 overs remaining for England to claim the last five wickets.
Left-arm seamer Curran dismissed Malan in the seventh over with the second new ball when Malan edged a delivery slanting across him to second slip.
Opening batsman Malan, making his Test debut, made 84 in 369 minutes, facing 288 balls and hitting only three fours.
Rassie van der Dussen and Quinton de Kock survived until tea. De Kock was troubled by leg-spinner Joe Denly, bowling into a large area of rough outside his off stump but there was no other major assistance from the pitch.
Two wickets fell during the morning. Nightwatchman Keshav Maharaj was leg before wicket to James Anderson in the third over of the day.
Captain Faf du Plessis joined Malan and the pair batted solidly for 79 minutes before Du Plessis hit a sweep shot against Bess straight to Denly at straight leg. He faced 57 balls and scored 19.
The breakthrough came four overs before the second new ball was due. It was taken immediately, with Curran sharing it with Anderson.
Anderson did not bowl between lunch and tea. He spent some time off the field but it was not clear whether he was injured or ill.