England struggle to turn the screw
Although recent experience suggests that their batsmen might make hard work of it, England appear to be on course for their consolation victory.
However, it sums up the level of cricket that England have been playing for too long now that South Africa were able to recover from a situation that at lunch looked hopeless.
It was also the case under Michael Vaughan's leadership that England, in my opinion, are far too quick to give established batsmen a single when a lower-order batsman is also at the crease.
On the fourth afternoon, Kevin Pietersen showed what a confused tactic this is when, with AB de Villiers batting with Paul Harris, he took the second new ball. But he did not use it as an attacking option to de Villiers, who had 62 at the time, and South Africa's lead was only 119. Immediately, de Villiers edged to second slip - but there was no one there. The fielders were scattered in the deep and the chance went begging.
The point is that de Villiers was still playing cautiously and responsibly. It is a different matter if an established batsman goes on the attack with a tail-ender at the other end - but Pietersen should have looked to take the initiative. After all, the ball has swung throughout the match, and there was always the possibility that de Villiers would edge it.
Bizarrely, when de Villiers had reached 94, Pietersen set an orthodox field of two slips and a gully, with only a deep square leg and long leg in the outfield. That is the field that should have been set some 70 runs earlier.
England also bowled badly at Harris. They either peppered him with short balls, or fired in attempted yorkers - but nothing in between. It is a perfectly legitimate tactic to give lower-order batsmen a bouncer of two - but they are as likely to edge a good length ball as anyone else and England got it wrong.
Harris gritted his teeth and showed admirable bravery and determination, but it was not until he had made 34 in a hugely valuable stand of 95 with de Villiers that Stuart Broad found a good length and Harris edged to Collingwood at third slip.
Conversely, Pietersen got it absolutely right when Monty Panesar bowled at de Villiers on 97. Going over the wicket and aiming into the rough, the tantalising target of deep midwicket was deliberately left open. Down the pitch came de Villiers, aiming for that spot to bring up his hundred and was bowled.
It was unnecessary from his point of view - but showed good research in that England know he is jittery when approaching a century. Six times in the last three-and-a-half years, de Villiers has fallen in the 90s.