A fair enough day for West Indies turned pear-shaped in the final session when they lost 7 for 43 and were eventually bowled out for 212. The 130-run lead that South Africa eked out was largely thanks to the pace and aggression from Anrich Nortje, who returned fine figures of 5 for 36, his fourth five-wicket haul in Tests.
The West Indies bowlers fared better in the second innings, reducing South Africa to 49/4 but the hosts's lead now stands at 179 on a pitch that is already playing some tricks. No wonder 16 wickets fell on the second day.
Until the final session, West Indies had done well to bowl South Africa out for 342, albeit after conceding 28 runs in 4.3 overs - which also saw Alzarri Joseph complete his maiden five-wicket haul in Tests. Then Raymon Reifer and Jermaine Blackwood made South Africa sweat through the middle session with their steady run-scoring, taking West Indies to 122/2 and then 169/3 before it all came crashing down.
Nortje broke the stubborn 61-run third-wicket with an inswinger that caught Blackwood's edge. Reifer managed to stay put in that Nortje spell and added another 47 runs with Roston Chase before he edged one behind off Marco Jansen. It ended Reifer's very reassuring innings on 62 which was laced with some fine drives. It went from bad to worse when Kagiso Rabada struck with the next ball, eliciting an outside edge from Chase to slip.
Nortje then ran roughshod over West Indies, harvesting four wickets in his three successive overs. He got rid of Joshua Da Silva (cut to point), Jason Holder (edged to slip), Alzarri Joseph (caught at point) and Kyle Mayers (hooked to fine leg) - and in that order - as West Indies were bowled out for a much lesser total than anticipated.
But wickets continued to fall in the final session, in line with how the first day panned out. Aiden Markram (35* off 33) started with intent, scoring a flurry of boundaries but wickets kept tumbling at the other end. Dean Elgar once again walked into the short-ball trap and upper-cut one to third man whereas Tony de Zorzi got a peach from Kemar Roach, the ball straightening from round the wicket to take the edge. The Test continued to be difficult for Temba Bavuma the batter, who registered a pair when he edged Joseph behind. And at the stroke of Stumps, Keegan Petersen was trapped lbw by Jason Holder with a delivery that stayed low, drawing curtains on a dramatic day's play.
Brief Scores: South Africa 342 (Markram 115; Joseph 5-81) & 49/4 (Markram 35*; Joseph 2-17) lead West Indies 212(Reifer 62, Blackwood 37; Nortje 5-36) by 179 runs