England took four wickets in 17 balls in the third test at Newlands on Monday to dismiss South Africa for 291 in their first innings, but the hosts hit back by grabbing three victims before lunch.
England were 64 for three at lunch after having been reduced to 36-3 at one stage.
England captain Andrew Strauss lasted only six balls before being caught behind for two off Morne Morkel in the first over.
The tourists were reduced to 36-3 in the 13th over of the innings when fast bowler Dale Steyn took two wickets in three balls.
First Steyn got Jonathan Trott to play on for 20 and then, two balls later, he took a one-handed return catch to claim the prized wicket of Kevin Pietersen.
But opener Alastair Cook on 27 not out and Paul Collingwood on 14 not out got England to lunch without further loss.
Earlier, pace bowlers James Anderson and Graham Onions combined to take four wickets from 17 balls as England dismissed South Africa for 291 in their first innings just 20 minutes into the second day of the third test Monday.
After South Africa resumed on 279-6 Onions had Jacques Kallis caught behind off the second ball of the day without adding to his overnight tally of 108. Kallis batted for 266 minutes and hit 11 fours, facing just the one ball on the second morning at Newlands.
Kallis’ seventh—wicket partnership with Dale Steyn ended at 64 off 16.5 overs.
Three balls later, Anderson dismissed Steyn with his first delivery of the day, caught by a diving Jonathan Trott at third slip for 26.
Morne Morkel lasted just three balls before the tall left—hander edged an Anderson ball to Graeme Swann at second slip. Morkel was out for a duck, the third in the innings after Ashwell Prince and J.P. Duminy.
Last—wicket pair Paul Harris and Friedel de Wet added 10 runs, but Anderson grabbed his third wicket in seven balls by trapping De Wet lbw for another duck. The batsman’s appeal to the third umpire for a review of the on—field umpire’s decision was to no avail.
Anderson finished with figures of 5-63, his eighth career five-wicket haul taking his test wickets tally to 153. Onions took 2-69 and Graeme Swann had figures of 2-74.