Hashim Amla's unbeaten fifty steadied South Africa as England pressed with both bat and ball on the third day of the third Test at Lord's on Saturday.
At stumps, South Africa was 145 for three in its second innings — a lead of 139 — with Amla 57 not out and nightwatchman Dale Steyn nought not out.
South Africa was wobbling at 50 for two second time around before Amla, dropped on two, and Jacques Kallis (31) shared a third-wicket partnership of 81.
Amla was fortunate when he glanced Stuart Broad down the legside and diving wicket-keeper Matt Prior just failed to cling on to the left-handed chance.
Earlier, Jonathan Bairstow fell just short of a maiden Test hundred as England made 315 in reply to South Africa's first innings 309.
But Bairstow had the consolation of posting a courageous 95.
For South Africa, Morkel led the attack with four wickets for 80 runs in 28.3 overs. Steyn took four for 94 in 29. — AFP
South Africa — 1st innings: 309.
England — 1st Innings: A. Strauss b Morkel 20, A. Cook c Kallis b Steyn 7, J. Trott lbw b Steyn 8, I. Bell c Petersen b Philander 58, J. Taylor c Smith b Morkel 10, J. Bairstow b Morkel 95, M. Prior c Kallis b Philander 27, S. Broad c Amla b Steyn 16, G. Swann (not out) 37, J. Anderson c Rudolph b Steyn 12, S. Finn c Duminy b Morkel 10; Extras (lb-10, w-1, nb-4): 15; Total (in 107.3 overs): 315.
Fall of wickets: 1-29, 2-38, 3-39, 4-54, 5-178, 6-221, 7-252, 8-264, 9-283.
South Africa bowling: Morkel 28.3-6-80-4, Philander 24-9-48-2, Steyn 29-4-94-4, Kallis 12-3-29-0, Tahir 14-3-54-0.
South Africa — 2nd innings: A. Petersen lbw b Broad 24, G. Smith lbw b Swann 23, H. Amla (batting) 57, J. Kallis lbw b Finn 31, D. Steyn (batting) 0; Extras (b-4, lb-5, nb-1) 10; Total (for three wkts in 50 overs) 145.
Fall of wickets: 1-46, 2-50, 3-131.
England bowling: Anderson 9-2-32-0, Broad 10-1-38-1, Swann 20-5-38-1, Finn 11-1-28-1.