England left to chase an impossible dream
England must chase down a world-record 474 to win the second Test, but South Africa have two full days in which to bowl them out after the tourists' batsmen provided the strongest possible platform for victory on the third day yesterday.
It could have even better for South Africa who, after declaring on 343/9 just before the close, thought they had Alastair Cook lbw on the first ball, but the decision was reversed on review.
England survived two other frenetic lbw appeals before reaching 1-0 in the four-game series, still 473 adrift and facing a huge task on a wearing pitch as South Africa push for a victory at Trent Bridge that would level the series at 1-1.
No Test team has scored more than 418 to win; the record at Trent Bridge is a mere 284/7, which England chalked-up to beat New Zealand 13 years ago.
When South Africa resumed on 75/1, England knew they had to take early wickets and would rue the basic error that allowed Hashim Amla to escape at 91/1 when they failed to review a half-hearted appeal by Stuart Broad.
TV replays showed an edge to the keeper.
Inevitably, Amla made England pay, seldom looking troubled by still difficult conditions to make 87 - his second half-century of the match - before falling lbw to Liam Dawson on review.
He shared strong partnerships with Dean Elgar, who made a steadfast 80 after surviving a sharp early chance to Jimmy Anderson and Faf du Plessis.