Johannesburg:South Africa quick Andre Nel took two wickets in his first over on Saturday to leave New Zealand on 57-3 chasing 531 to win at stumps on the third day of the first Test.
South Africa declared its second innings on 422-3, with Hashim Amla reaching a Test high score of 176 not out and Jacques Kallis 186 at Wanderers Stadium.
The Proteas scored 226 in the first innings before dismissing New Zealand for 118.
Left to face 17 overs before the close of play, Stephen Fleming opened the batting with Craig Cumming in the absence of Michael Papps, who was battling a stomach ailment.
Cumming (7) was the first to go, edging a ball from Dale Steyn to South Africa captain Graeme Smith at second slip.
Fleming, batting with a bruised forearm from a Steyn delivery in the first innings, edged a delivery from Nel for Smith to take another catch. Fleming made 17 and New Zealand was 34-2.
Ross Taylor hit a four, breaking his bat in the process, survived a bouncer that was called a wide, and then edged Nel's next delivery to Kallis at second slip for New Zealand to be in serious trouble at 39-3.
Scott Styris had 16 and Brendon McCullum 11 at the close.
Nel finished the day with 2-19.
Earlier, Kallis fell short of a maiden Test double century when he edged a ball from medium-pacer Jacob Oram and was caught by McCullum to end a 262-ball innings with 25 fours and three sixes.
He shared in a 330-run partnership with Amla, who surpassed his previous highest Test score of 149 against New Zealand in Cape Town in 2006.
Kallis, who reached his 28th Test century with a six off New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori, reached 9,000 runs in Test cricket to move to eighth on the all-time list, which is led by former West Indies batsman Brian Lara.
Kallis is now ahead of former England batsman Graham Gooch and just behind Australia captain Ricky Ponting.
Amla was the dominant partner until Kallis reached his century and started attacking.
Kallis was dropped on 106 by substitute fielder Michael Mason in a fairly simple chance at wide mid-on off the bowling of Vettori.
New Zealand's problems were compounded when Oram left the field limping with a hamstring problem. The Black Caps were already missing Shane Bond with an abdominal strain.