South Africa were 94-3 at lunch in their second innings on the last day of the fourth and final Test against India at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in New Delhi on Monday.
AB de Villers was on 26 from 203 balls with Faf du Plessis unbeaten on two. The visitors, set a target of 481, need another 387 runs with seven wickets in hand for an improbable win.
India declared their second innings on 267-5 after making 334 in their first outing.
The top-ranked tourists, who have already lost the series 2-0, were bowled out for 121 in their first innings.