Australia are still in trouble as they still trail by 287 runs on the first innings, but have slowed the victory charge of the home side who seek a first home test series win over the tourists in nearly 50 years.
That history might have been lost on an Australia team anxious, instead, for its future after the ball-tampering scandal from the last match in Cape Town led to long-term bans for captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and batsman Cameron Bancroft, and thrust Paine into the top job.
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"We were very disappointed with the way things went yesterday (Saturday)", said Paine, who revealed that the players had spoken about it after play and had resolved to respond positively."We didn't get the wickets we perhaps deserved but I was really proud of the way the bowlers stuck at it, the same with our fielding group", said Paine. "It's OK, it's got a little crack in it, but I've played through worse", he added. "I thought our energy right through the innings was excellent".
Cummins hit six fours and a solitary six before he was gone for an even 50, eventually given out lbw trying to sweep spinner Keshav Maharaj (3-92) after the home side made good use of the review system.
Their seventh-wicket partnership was worth 99, the best for any wicket by Australia in the series. "This tour he has been superb, he was fantastic in the Ashes as well".
Morkel left the field after bowling two balls of his 13th over during the morning. South Africa wasn't yet sure if he'd be able to bowl during the last two days of his test career. He returned to the field after lunch, however.
With the ghastly week that the Australians have had to endure, their efforts on Sunday were impressive. "I spoke to our players about bringing it in".