Amla wants win, not draw
Batsman Hashim Amla maintained South Africa would push for victory, rather than settle for a draw, after seizing command of the third and final test on day four at Lord's on Sunday.
Amla scored a fine century - his second of the series and 16th of his career - as the Proteas set England 346 to win the three-match decider.
Vernon Philander then rattled the hosts' response, reducing them to 16 for two by removing openers Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook cheaply.
Both men fell lbw to the seamer, leaving Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell to drop anchor for the remainder of the day, and at least reduce the deficit to 330 - still a hefty ask.
While England have to win the match in order to retain their number one ranking, a stalemate will suffice for South Africa after they won the first match at The Oval by an innings and 12 runs and the second fixture ended in a rain-affected draw at Headingley.
"Of course we are thinking of winning," insisted Amla. "Fortunately we managed to take two wickets, which has put us in a good position.
"But it will still take a lot of hard work. If we show the intensity we showed first up, it should help."
The last side to successfully chase a 300-plus fourth-innings at Lord's was in 1984, when the West Indies triumphed by nine wickets on the back of a double century from Gordon Greenidge and an unbeaten 92 from Larry Gomes.
Some 50 Tests at the London venue later, the chance of history repeating itself is improbable.
"To score above 300 in the fourth innings is a very difficult ask," added Amla. "We have been in that situation before. In fact, anything over 250 is difficult."