Delhi - South Africa trudged to 40-1 at tea Sunday after India capitalised on Ajinkya Rahane's second century to set them a 481-run target on the fourth day of the fourth and final Test.
Skipper Hashim Amla (six) and opener Temba Bavuma (30) were the not out batsmen, scoring at barely a run an over in a dour display.
An out-of-sorts Amla, who has had a miserable tour, managed his first run only after facing 46 balls. He had so far faced 113 balls and made six.
Bavuma, playing only his fifth Test, appeared more confident than his struggling skipper.
The opener hit off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin over the mid-wicket fence for a six and twice dispatched paceman Ishant Sharma through the slips for four.
Rahane, 27, scored his second century of the match to help the hosts declare their second innings on 267-5 half an hour before the lunch break.
He smashed three sixes and eight fours in his unbeaten 100-run knock and also shared a 154-run partnership with captain Virat Kohli (88), the highest of the series.
India, who bowled out the top-ranked tourists for 121 in their first innings after making 334, have already bagged the series with wins in the first and third Tests. The second Test in Bangalore was washed out after the first day's play.
India tasted early success during South Africa's second innings when Ashwin had opener Dean Elgar (four) caught at slip with just five runs on the board.
But Amla and Bavuma denied them another breakthrough.
Rahane was in sublime form after the Indians started the day with a commanding lead of 403 at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium.
The diminutive right-hander lofted Morne Morkel (3-51) for a six over third man before handing out similar punishment to spinners Imran Tahir and Elgar and racing into the 90s.
Rahane reached the three-figure mark with a single off Tahir, becoming only the fifth Indian player to score a century in each innings of a Test.
Kohli was unlucky to miss out on a century, trapped leg before by fast bowler Kyle Abbott (1-47) in the fifth over of the day after having resumed on his overnight 83.
He struck 10 fours in his patient 165-ball innings.
South Africa 49/2 after 49 overs
Amla 11* (144)
De Villiers 0* (20)