Perth, Dec 2: Centuries from Hashim Amla (196) and AB de Villiers (169) put South Africa on road to retaining their number one ranking, in the third and final Test against Australia at the WACA ground on Sunday. South Africa set Australia a mammoth 632 to win the Test.
Scorecard; Amla's amazing run in 2012
At stumps on day three, Australia opener David Warner and Ed Cown survived 13 overs to take the team to 40/0. They need 592 more to win in 180 overs. The highest successful chase in Test history is 418/7 by West Indies against Australia in 2003.
Mitchell Starc took six wickets while Mitchell Johnson had four as South Africa were bowled out for 569 in 11.5 overs in second essay with a lead of 631.
The three-match series is 0-0 after drawn Tests in Brisbane and Adelaide.
Earlier, at tea, South Africa were in dominant position at 467/5 in 96 overs. They now have a lead of 529 runs.
South Africa have to avoid defeat to remain number one in the ICC Test rankings. However, for Australia, they need to win to return to the top. That is looking highly unlikely for the Australians.
On the third day of the Test, which is the final one for former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, South African batsmen made the hosts's bowlers toil in perfect batting conditions.
Amla narrowly missed out on a double century as he was dismissed for a magnificent 196. De Villiers, who reached his 14th Test ton with three successive reverse sweeps, ensured that South Africa's lead grew past the 500-run mark.
Amla, who began the day on 99, got to his 18th Test hundred and was looking good for his third double but Mitchell Johnson removed him. In the same over, debutant Dean Elgar was out for a duck, bagging a pair.
Amla and De Villiers had a 149-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Jacques Kallis was out for 37 earlier in the day.