Harare: Dane Piedt and Morne Morkel`s lethal deliveries allowed them to grab six wickets and move South Africa to the brink of victory as Zimbabwe limped to tea on 141 for seven in their second innings on day four of the one-off test on Tuesday.
With the scores level at Harare Sports Club, South Africa will be confident of mopping up the Zimbabwean tail in the final session and chase down what is likely to be a small victory target to claim a win that would see them maintain their number one test ranking.
Richmond Mutumbami (15) and John Nyumbu (four) will continue after the interval, hoping to buy time and give the bowlers some sort of target that would make life uncomfortable for the South Africans on a wicket that has proven difficult to bat on.
It was a terrible middle session for the hosts as their middle order crumbled in the face of the Proteas onslaught. Resuming after lunch on 80 for two, Zimbabwe lost Mark Vermeulen (21) plumb leg before wicket to Dale Steyn.
From there it was a procession as debutant spinner Piedt had Vusi Sibanda (45) caught and bowled, before he snagged the big wicket of home captain Brendan Taylor (five) caught at short leg by Dean Elgar.
Morkel entered into the attack and bowled Regis Chakabva (15) after the batsman offered no stroke, while Sean Williams (three) was brilliantly caught at point by JP Duminy off the lanky paceman.
Piedt now has match figures of seven for 150, to date the best performance by a South African spinner on test debut after Ian Smith took seven for 189 against England in 1947.