South African Cricket captain Hashim Amla scored his first 100 for more than a year and De Villiers reached 8 000 test runs.(SABC)
Proteas Captain Hashim Amla scored an unbeaten century on the third day of the second test against England and AB de Villiers made 88 as South Africa reached tea on 290 for three on Monday.
Amla scored his first 100 for more than a year and De Villiers reached 8 000 test runs before he pulled a short ball from Steven Finn to James Anderson at mid-wicket just before the interval.
South Africa trailed the touring side by 339 runs, 91 short of avoiding the follow-on, with Amla on 132 not out and Faf du Plessis on 15.
Amla and De Villiers resumed on 141 for two and extended their partnership to 183, giving South Africa a foothold in the game after England declared on a massive total of 629 for six on a second day of record-breaking batting.
The experienced pair played with much circumspection but did offer chances.
Amla was twice dropped by Joe Root on 76 and Nick Compton on 120 and De Villiers survived an lbw appeal after asking for a review, which showed he got a slight nick to a Ben Stokes delivery.
De Villiers became the third South African batsman to pass 8 000 runs while Amla, who last made a significant contribution with 208 runs against the West Indies in December 2014, moved past 7 000 runs.
The 31-year-old De Villiers joined Jacques Kallis (13 206) and Graeme Smith (9 253) on the list of South Africans with more than 8 000 test runs.
England, 1-0 up in the series, bowled good lines and with spells of aggression on a pitch that offered little assistance and in hot temperatures of over 30 degrees Celsius.
The third day, however, provided none of the fireworks of Sunday when Stokes and Jonny Bairstow smashed the ball to all corners of the picturesque ground.