SA Under-19s 77 and 235 for 4 (Olivier 79*, Malan 55) trail England Under-19s 393 by 81 runs
Hanco Olivier and Janneman Malan battled back for South Africa on day three to leave England with work still to do to win the second Youth Test at Wantage Road.
The tourists needed a strong response to their first-innings embarrassment and proved what they are capable of with a solid day of batting. They still trail England by a sizeable 81 but, with six wickets in hand and a horrendous forecast for day four, South Africa gave themselves every chance to salvage a draw.
Olivier led the way, shrugging off the possibility of a king pair to make an unbeaten 79, and eating up 239 balls in the process. He and Malan occupied more than 50 overs of the day, adding 109 for the third wicket - very steady but valuable progress for his side.
Malan fell for 55 and England brought themselves right back into the game with another wicket five overs later but South Africa captain Sibonelo Makhanya ensured his side enter the final day in solid shape by taking the stand between him and Olivier to the close.
England's bowlers were made to work far harder than in the first innings and it wasn't until the 19th over that they struck, with Will Rhodes bowling Ryan Rickelton for 5. Josh Shaw made it two down 10 overs later but it was then a hard slog until Saqib Mahmood and Luke Wood struck in quick succession towards the end of the day to revive England hopes of victory.