Johannesburg:South Africa dominated the first day of the fourth and final Test against England at the Wanderers on Thursday, bowling out their opponents for 180 and reaching 29 for no wicket in tricky batting conditions.
England captain Andrew Strauss won the toss but that was virtually his only good moment of the day.
Batting first was always a gamble in conditions which favoured the bowlers and England's troubles started with the first ball of the match when Strauss was caught at backward short leg off what Dale Steyn admitted was "a bit of a run-in, a loosener and a great catch" by Hashim Amla.
Steyn took five for 51 and Morne Morkel three for 39 as England crumbled.
"(Captain) Graeme (Smith) said to the bowlers after he lost the toss that it was our turn to lead the side and put a stamp on the game," said Steyn.
The tourists, leading the series 1-0, lost their first four wickets for 39 runs inside the first hour.
Paul Collingwood (47) and Ian Bell (35) put on 76 for the fifth wicket but when Collingwood provided a first Test wicket for Ryan McLaren soon after lunch the slide resumed and England were bowled out shortly before tea.
"The lads will be a little bit disappointed," said Collingwood.
"But we won't know what a par score is until South Africa have batted. The wicket has certainly got a lot in it. There was good carry and the ball was swinging all the time."
Smith and his opening partner Ashwell Prince faced only 25 balls, scoring 16 runs, before rain stopped play for 92 minutes.
The players returned under heavily overcast skies with the floodlights on. England opening bowlers James Anderson and Ryan Sidebottom both made the ball swing but the batsmen survived until bad light stopped play for the day.
Sidebottom was playing ahead of Graham Onions in a surprise move by England.
Onions, as a number eleven batsman, twice played out the last over to secure a draw for his team, in the first and third Tests.
With South Africa choosing an all-pace line-up, giving first caps to left-armer Wayne Parnell and all-rounder McLaren, Strauss had to make a tough decision on winning the toss.
Having chosen to bat, Strauss turned a lifting delivery on leg stump from Steyn firmly behind square leg but Amla dived to his right to hold an excellent catch.
Morkel followed up in the second over when Jonathan Trott played across a full delivery and was leg before wicket.
Kevin Pietersen's run of poor scores continued when he pulled Morkel straight to Parnell at mid-on after making seven.
Alastair Cook went back on his stumps against Morkel and was a second leg before victim after making 21. He asked for a review but umpire Tony Hill's decision was upheld.
Collingwood looked in good form before he was squared up by McLaren and caught at point off a leading edge. He made his 47 off 61 balls with five fours and two sixes.
Steyn bowled Bell with a delivery which swerved back between bat and pad after a series of away-swingers in what Steyn said was a move he had planned with performance coach Jeremy Snape.
"I've been working on getting the in-swinger going for a couple of years and Jeremy suggested I should bowl a few going away and then bowl a straight one," said Steyn.
"I said I would try the in-swinger, so when it worked I gave a celebration towards the dressing room."
England's resistance was effectively broken, although Graeme Swann made a breezy 27 off 27 balls before he was last man out.
Swann, playing a typically aggressive innings, gave difficult chances on nought and six.
He and Anderson added 25 for the last wicket before Swann was caught behind off Steyn, giving the fast bowler his 12th five-wicket haul in Tests.
It completed a set of 'five-fors' for Steyn against every Test opponent.
"It means a lot to me. I said before the series that England was the only country I hadn't taken five against. But I bowled better in (the second Test in) Cape Town and went luckless."