Australia 54-1 in 2nd innings, 2nd test vs South Africa

Australia's Mitchell Starc stretchers before bowling to South Africa during their cricket test match in Hobart, Australia, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Rick Rycroft/AP

HOBART, Australia (AP) South Africa took a 241-run lead on first innings and then took a wicket before conceding a run as Australia's batting woes continued on Monday in the second test.

Quinton de Kock (104) posted a century and shared a 144-run sixth-wicket stand with Temba Bavuma (74) to help South Africa reach 326 on day three in reply to Australia's calamitous 85.

Australia's chances of avoiding defeat took a significant setback when opener Joe Burns was out for a four-ball duck, feathering an innocuous delivery from Kyle Abbott down leg-side for wicketkeeper de Kock and Australia was 0-1 in the first over.

There was an immediate rain delay after Burns' departure, but upon resumption, David Warner (29) and Usman Khawaja (24) batted through to tea unbeaten, moving Australia to 57-1; still trailing by 187 runs.

South Africa won the series-opener by 177 runs in Perth and will pushing to clinch the three-test series with an innings victory at Bellerive.

Based on how Australia batted in the first innings – when Steve Smith was the only batsman to stand up with an unbeaten 48 and the top order crumbled to 8-4 – there's a chance South Africa may not have to bat again in the second test.

Rain prevented any play on Sunday following an extraordinary opening day in which 15 wickets fell as South Africa reached 171-5 at stumps after skittling Australia for 85 at Bellerive.

De Kock (104) resumed day three on 28 and became just the fifth South African to score half centuries in five consecutive test innings before reaching his second test hundred from 139 balls.

De Kock was in command in cold, overcast conditions, stroking 17 boundaries and appearing untroubled until he took on a Josh Hazlewood (6-89) ball that moved off the seam and took out his stumps.

That gave Australia a glimmer of hope by exposing the tail.

Joe Mennie struck immediately after the lunch break to remove Bavuma as South Africa slipped to 292-7. Hazlewood wrapped up the tail, bowling Keshav Maharaj (1), trapping Abbott (3) lbw and getting Vernon Philander (32) caught behind.