The visitors will resume this morning – assuming the Headingley outfield has drained sufficiently overnight – without loss in their second innings, leading England by 33 runs on 39-0.
Kevin Pietersen had led a valiant batting comeback by the home side on Saturday, but fell to the second ball yesterday morning, ending on 149 runs. England’s tail failed to wag and they finished the first innings just six runs ahead, all out for 425.
And as rain clouds gathered over the famous Yorkshire ground, South Africa faced just 17 overs.
Injuries to Alviro Petersen and Jacques Kallis meant that South Africa started with Jacques Rudolph and captain Graeme Smith, the pair obdurately fending off England’s seam attack.
Elsewhere, West Indies sealed a 2-0 series win against New Zealand yesterday with a comfortable five wicket victory in Jamaica.