Rassie van der Dussen played a potentially defining innings of his short Test career, but iy wasn’t enough to prevent the hapless Proteas from suffering a 191-run defeat against England in the final Test at the Wanderers on Momday.
It means Mark Boucher’s charges will have to deal with a humbling 3-1 series loss.
Van der Dussen displayed superb resillience and fine technique to craft 98 off 138 deliveries before agonisingly falling short of a century.
Disappointingly, his tame drive off Mark Wood was totally out of tune with the rest of his knock.
Chasing an impossible 466, Van der Dussen and a struggling Faf du Plessis (35) gave the hosts hope of surviving, guiding the total to 181/2.
But the Proteas skipper’s dismissal showed the batting’s current brittle nature.
Quinton de Kock showed some class with a powerful 39, while Temba Bavuma hit six fours in his 27 before Stuart Broad nabbed his wicket with a cracker.
Vernon Philander, hampered by a hamstring injury, made 10 in his final innings.
England’s attack deserved praise for a workmanlike display, adapting well after the Van der Dussen and Du Plessis stand.
Wood was menacing again with 4/54.