London – Proteas will have to fight 312 on Thursday at Oval in England on Oval.
This comes after being restricted by hosts 311/8 in its allocated 50 overs.
SCOREBOARD: England v Proteas
Do not make a mistake, South Africa would take that score at the beginning of the day.
Every time the powerful England league was ready to take the game to their visitors, Proteas bounced back to the balls at crucial moments.
Proteas were full of surprises, and the first came in the way of team selection where Aiden Markram and David Miller were selected on the bench.
Chris Morris was also expected to break his head, but he was excluded for Dvaine Pretorius.
The second shock came when Captain Faf du Plessis, after winning the toss and selecting the field, gave the first advantage to the forty-year-old spinner Imran Tahir (2/61 of 10).
Tahir removed dangerous Jonni Bairstov (0 off 1) only with his second delivery while Kuinton de Kock caught a sharp blow behind the stumps.
At 1/1, Proteas arrived in London by making a perfect start.
He was short-lived.
Kagiso Rabada (2/66 of 10) and Lungi Ngidi (3/66 out of 10), two South Africans, did not at all threaten with a new ball like Jason Roi (54 off 53) and Joe Root (51 off 59). ) achieved the 106th partnership for the second viket.
It was Andile Phehllukio (1/44 of 8) who got a breakthrough by going a short route with Roi, who went only to the sky to Du Plessis in the middle.
Root followed immediately afterwards, playing an unusually free kick to be dipped by JP Dumini from Rabad with the first ball of the second rank.
At 111/3, Proteas returned back, but as it was the case earlier, England recovered.
This time came in the form of a 106-run stand off 108 balls between skipper Eoina Morgan (57 off 60) and Ben Stokes (89 off 79).
Ngidi continued to fight – he was hit by two sixths in consecutive deliveries by Morgan – while all the other Pretorius and Phehllukio worked without any reward.
The breakthrough came through Tahir when Morgan looked to him to run it to the maximum only to find Markram in the long run.
This led to the high rank of But Butler in the passage and with well-established Stoke, England entered the last 10 passes that are nicely placed on 235/4 and ready to launch.
Butler's gate was crucial, and Ngidi got up when the captain of the English captain pulled one on her stumps to send her into the package for 10.
Since then, it has been a case of limiting hosts as much as possible.
Moeen Ali (3) was greatly caught by the diver Du Plessis on a long track, also with Ngidi, who had recovered superbly from that earlier Morgan attack.
Rabada had all-rounder Chris Voakes (13 off 14) caught by Du Plessis in the long run, and Ngidi took his third when Stokes caught Hashim Amla in the short third man who tried to play the inverted goal.
Proteas still has a lot to do, but this result will be nice for dinner.
England 311/8 (Stokes 89, Morgan 57, Roi 54, Root 51, Ngidi 3/66, Tahir 2/61, Rabada 2/66)
SA needs 312 runs to win