Jacques Kallis inched towards a century in his final Test after guiding South Africa to 299-5 before rain and bad light brought a premature end to the third day of the second Test against India on Saturday.
Kallis, who is playing his final Test before retiring, faced 224 balls for his unbeaten 78 as he took the Proteas to within 35 of India's first-innings score.
The 38-year-old notched up his 87th half-century in Tests and will resume day four with nightwatchman Dale Steyn, who is yet to score.
South Africa lost JP Duminy (28) just before the close, one of four wickets for Indian spinner Ravindra Jadeja (4-87).
All-rounder Kallis was the junior partner in an excellent fourth-wicket stand of 127 with AB de Villiers (74) that got South Africa out of trouble earlier in the day.
De Villiers looked fluent as he scored all around the ground before edging to Virat Kohli at first slip off the bowling of Jadeja.
The pair had steadied the innings after a mini-collapse in the morning session, when the hosts lost three wickets for ten runs.
They had started the day well, Graeme Smith (47) and Alviro Petersen (62) moving the side briskly from their overnight score of 82 and adding 21 runs before the former was excellently caught by Shikhar Dhawan off the bowling of Jadeja.
Guard of honour
Hashim Amla had a wretched time in the drawn first Test in Johannesburg and he failed with the bat again on Saturday, the excellent Mohammed Shami getting the ball to move away slightly and clip the off-stump and dismiss him for three.
That brought Kallis to the crease and India, showing great sportsmanship, gave the veteran all-rounder a guard of honour as he walked to the middle, with Australian umpires Steve Davis and Rod Tucker joining in.
But perhaps the emotion of the moment led to Petersen losing his concentration as he was out the very next delivery, gloving the ball to Murali Vijay at slip off the bowling of Jadeja.
JP Duminy became Jadeja's fourth victim when he was trapped leg before wicket in the penultimate over, before the umpires took the players off the field as rain began to fall.