Johannesburg - Temba Bavuma was left stranded on 95* as the Proteas were eventually bowled out for 488 on day two of the fourth Test against Australia on Saturday.
It was an agonising end to the innings for the 27-year-old, who had batted superbly and looked good for only his second Test ton.
Bavuma simply ran out pf partners, with Quinton de Kock (39), Vernon Philander (12), Keshav Maharaj (45) and Morne Morkel (0) all falling on Saturday.
It is the first time South Africa have made 400 in a test innings since October last year against Bangladesh in Bloemfontein.
Tea was taken at the end of the South African innings.
Partnerships have been key for the hosts in this series and that has been the case in the fourth Test too, where they had six stands of 50 or more.
Bavuma and De Kock put on 85 runs for the seventh wicket.
Bavuma, in particular, had struggled to get going and he had added just one run to his overnight score of 25* in the first hour of play.
De Kock, meanwhile, kept the scoreboard ticking over and with each run the situation became more desperate for the Aussies.
The visitors released all of the pressure on Bavuma when they gave him a single from an unnecessary overthrow, and the 27-year-old never looked back after that.
Bavuma was the man dropped to accommodate the return of AB de Villiers in the India series at the beginning of the year, and a hand injury then ruled him out for a couple of months.
His return to the Test side came in the third Test against Australia at Newlands last week, where he looked undercooked and carded scores of 1 and 5.
At his old stomping ground at the Wanderers on Saturday, though, Bavuma was back to his best.
He went to his 10th Test half-century when he worked Nathan Lyon through cover for three as the Johannesburg crowd gave its biggest roar of the day.
With Bavuma starting to flow, De Kock looked to take the attack to the Aussie bowlers but he was out when he tried to go after Lyon only to hit it straight up to Mitch Marsh at mid-on.
Philander was out trying to hit Lyon over the ropes, while Maharaj's knock of 45 came off just 51 balls.
With Bavuma on 95*, Maharaj may have made more of an effort to hang around and see his partner to three figures.
Instead, he slashed at a wide one from Pat Cummins (5/83) only to edge through to Tim Paine. Maharaj had put on 76 for the ninth wicket.
Morkel came to the crease in his last Test, but he was out first ball to Cummins as Bavuma looked towards the Johannesburg sky in disbelief.