Amla and De Villiers secure South Africa recovery

Second Test, Johannesburg (day three):
South Africa 266 & 229-3 v Australia 296
Match scorecard
Peter Siddle, Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers
Amla and De Villiers 50 partnership came off 100 balls in the 44th over

Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers batted South Africa into a strong position on the third day of the second Test against Australia in Johannesburg.

Amla (89) and De Villiers (70) added an unbroken 139 for the fourth wicket as South Africa reached 229-3 in their second innings, a lead of 199.

Earlier, captain Graeme Smith made 36 before falling to spinner Nathan Lyon.

Debutant Pat Cummins (2-46) removed Jacques Rudolph and Jacques Kallis before Amla and De Villiers dug in.

The Proteas began day three on 0-0 after only four balls were possible when their innings began on Friday evening.

They were quickly into their stride, with Rudolph hitting two fours in the second over off young paceman Cummins, but he fell for 24 in the eighth over of the day with the overall lead only 10.

Smith hit successive boundaries off Peter Siddle in the 14th over taking the score on to 59-1, but his partnership with Amla ended when Smith sliced a Lyon delivery to Phil Hughes at point.

Kallis struggled to make an impact and after making only two from 17 balls, his contribution ended when he edged Cummins to Michael Clarke at first slip, leaving South Africa 60 ahead with three batsmen out.

The dismissal brought De Villiers to the wicket and he and Amla averted further trouble from the remaining 10 balls of the morning session.

Australia's frustrating session was summed up when wicketkeeper Brad Haddin believed he had run De Villiers out - but replays showed the batsman had comfortably made his ground.

Australia, who need to win this Test to draw the two-match series, had failed to separate the pair when the teams went off early for bad light, and the umpires soon called off play for the day.