Day two of the third Test in Perth was all about South Africa, as the visitors Down Under enjoyed success with both ball and bat to reach stumps a hefty 292 runs ahead in their second innings against Australia.

Having dismissed the hosts for 163 before tea on the same day, Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla batted with calm assurance in the evening session to put on a partnership of 178, with the skipper making 84 and an unbeaten Amla adding 99 to his records.

The Proteas took eight wickets in the day, five of them before lunch, and then defied what the 'bowler-friendly' pitch seemed to suggest to score 230 for two in little over two hours. They went at an ODI-like run rate of 6.05, and Jacques Kallis sat on 17 off 24 balls.

The Aussies started the day on 33 for two, chasing the 225 the Proteas had scored on day one, when the wicket also assisted the pacemen. Dale Steyn took three wickets on Saturday morning, and Robin Peterson bagged the final three scalps required in the afternoon.

Only Matthew Wade resisted the Proteas's attack, making 68, including three sixes off Peterson. He could not do anything about his batting partners though, as they tumbled around him, only John Hastings scoring a nifty cameo of 32.

The most emotional part of the day was Ricky Ponting's brief innings, as he made only four runs in his penultimate Test innings. The former skipper, playing in his final match, came in after David Warner was sent packing early on, caught behind off Steyn.

Punter started off with an aggressive pull shot, but could not survive the fierce pace supplied by the visitors and was trapped plumb in front off Vernon Philander after seven deliveries.

He sent it upstairs for review, wasting their second DRS effort after Warner had used one earlier, but there was little to argue about and the crowd rose to applaud him off the field the same way they had when he walked on.

Night watchman Lyon was another Steyn victim in the first hour, getting a thick outside edge as he was turned square and caught at gully by Faf du Plessis. Skipper Michael Clarke was done in a similar manner, though he was caught by AB de Villiers for five.

Wade and Michael Hussey managed to steady the innings somewhat, putting on 55 together to take the score from 45 for six to 100 on the dot. Mr Cricket could not withstand the barrage though, and fell to Morne Morkel, edging him behind to Smith in the slips.

Debutant Hastings was in the middle with Wade at lunch with the score on 118 for seven. Peterson only allowed Wade to add eight runs to his score after the break though, before inducing a sweep shot, which Wade missed and watched as the ball clattered into his stumps.

Mitchell Johnson endured a torrid time against the fast bowlers, Morkel in particular, and found a few deliveries peppering his body. He made seven off 22 balls before playing an identical missed sweep to Wade, and this time his leg stump was disturbed.

The final Aussie wicket to fall was that of Hastings, who had batted well for his 32 and struck four boundaries. He tried to add another of Peterson, but could not clear Alviro Petersen at long on.

South Africa's second knock got off to a shaky start, with a number of edges flying through the slip cordon and a few LBW appeals being turned down. Petersen was out with the score on 28, caught by Johnson off his own bowling, bringing Amla in to join Smith.

The duo progressed at a rapid clip, Smith surviving a reviewed LBW after being given out initially, and he took advantage of the respite. He struck 13 boundaries in his 100 deliveries, before being amazingly caught in the deep by Nathan Lyon, who dived at full stretch to take it.

Kallis was dropped by Lyon with a few overs to go, and responded with a flurry of boundaries, but Amla was not able to usher his century into the score book before the close of play, hitting a single off the final ball to go to 99.