Australia got packaged in 243 runs

Australian captain Steve Smith sets his field

Losing Rabada, who hit the 151 km/h mark on Sunday and snared five wickets in 18 deliveries on Friday, would be a big blow to South Africa's hopes of their first home Test series win over Australia in the post-apartheid era.

But all it did was present de Villiers another opportunity to showcase his genius as he manipulated the field to sprint twos, shield Ngidi and frustrate Smith and his charges.

That was certainly the case in Port Elizabeth against the Australians, where de Villiers' century on an arduous pitch was of such quality that the opposition's reaction, not for the first time in his career, was tantamount to shrugging their shoulders and applauding.

"It was right up there with the best feeling ever", he said of reaching three figures. "Ten out of 10", De Villiers said of his undefeated 126.

"I was so relieved (to score a century)".

"My legs literally went numb". It's amusing when a guy who's played for 13, 14 years says that but it's true. I became a dad at the same time, all of a sudden two boys are around and I've got a family.

Don't get me wrong, there is a tinge of poor form from the South African fans makingmasks of SBW to taunt Warner, but it would be little different to how Australian fans welcome visiting teams. "I felt I needed to breathe a bit".

Faf du Plessis of South Africa celebrates with Kagiso Rabada.

No one is counting anything yet.

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"He wasn't anywhere near his best but he just did not give it away", former Australian captain Border said. It is what makes Mother Cricket such a feared old lady.

Australia ended day three on 180/5 and will continue batting on Monday at 10:00 local time or 08:00 GMT. Crucially, the men having only to return to the ground on Monday with a small bag containing their fielding clothes is Australia captain Steve Smith and David Warner.

He was the anchor in late partnerships of 44 with Quinton de Kock, 84 with Vernon Philander (36) and 58 off just 43 balls with Maharaj (30) to keep South Africa going.

However, it was their arch-nemesis that proved to be both their undoing.

Rabada produced a fast delivery angled into the stumps to strike Smith on the back pad. The hot-headed fast bowler certainly enjoyed his success with yet another furious celebration that could once again earn the ire of match referee Jeff Crowe.

De Villiers, who had not scored a ton in his last 13 tests, featured in an 84-run partnership with Vernon Philander for the eighth wicket as the pair saw off any potential impact of the new ball from an Australian attack that looked exhausted after their exertions on Saturday.

But in Mitchell Marsh, Khawaja found a partner who stuck around and together the pair handled all the spin and seam the Proteas could throw at them.

De Villiers finished the day unbeaten on 74 with 14 boundaries, continuing a fine series for the classy right-hander who paired an unbeaten 71 in the first innings in Durban with a match-changing run-out for a duck in the second.

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