Proteas sets mammoth 632 run target for Oz to chase in Perth Test
Outstanding displays from South Africa batsmen Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers have virtually extinguished Australia's hopes of stealing the No.1 Test ranking after the host nation asked to chase a record-breaking 632 runs on the final two days of the Perth Test.
Openers Ed Cowan (9) and David Warner (29) survived a nervous final hour before stumps, but at 0-40 Australia still require a further 592 runs to win.
The Proteas were finally bowled out for 569 in their second innings. With a first innings lead of 63 runs, the South Africans have set the Australians a challenging 632 run target.
A glimmer of hope appeared for Australia when Morne Morkel (0-9) appeared to roll his ankle, but the big quick got up to rejoin the attack alongside Dale Steyn (0-14) and Vernon Philander (0-15).
Ricky Ponting will get a final innings to farewell Test cricket, and with two days left to bat, he'll certainly have plenty of time to set about building a big score.
But with the odds stacked against him and the team, Ponting is relying on a fairytale to end all fairytales if he's to go out on a high.
South Africa completely demoralised Australia for a second straight day on Sunday, with Amla (196) and de Villiers (169) the chief destroyers.
Mitchell Starc took a career-high haul of 6-154 and Mitchell Johnson (4-110) claimed the other four wickets, but it was too little too late for Australia.
A relentless South Africa went more than 200 runs past the biggest mark ever for a successful fourth innings chase, 418 by the West Indies against Australia in 2003.