Even though a series win looks secure, the Proteas are determined to finish things off against New Zealand in style.
Alviro Petersen pledges South Africa will go for the win
South Africa will continue to attack New Zealand when the fourth day of the final test begins on Monday rather than sit back and play for a draw despite holding a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, batsman Alviro Petersen said.
New Zealand reached 65 without loss at the close of the third day in response to South Africa's 474 for nine declared, and while fine weather is expected for the final two days the hosts' chances of forcing a result in the match appear slim.
Petersen, who top-scored with 156 in South Africa's first innings, said the Proteas were keen to keep pushing for a result despite only needing a draw after winning the second test at Seddon Park in Hamilton by nine wickets.
"We would have liked to have picked up some wickets here tonight," Petersen said. "We've got to find a way tomorrow. Come here fully focused with the attitude of trying to win a test match.
"We want to win a test match here, that's the important thing."
Petersen had been under pressure entering the match, having scored just 66 runs at 16.25 in his four previous test innings on the tour of New Zealand.
However, he produced when his team needed it, taking advantage of an easy-paced pitch to graft his way to his third test century.
"I was under pressure coming into this game because of the standards I set for myself," Petersen said. "The Proteas are a high performance team, we set high standards for ourselves and we want to live up to those standards.
"I haven't really scored a lot of runs in this series so it was important that I once I got in that I try and score big."
Mark Gillespie, who took six for 113 in South Africa's innings, said New Zealand's batsmen should benefit from the wicket flattening out.
"It just sort of flirts and offers, you think it's going to offer you something at the start and it doesn't really," Gillespie said. "It gets flat pretty quick. But I mean, if you bowl, on any deck really, in the right areas for long enough then things will happen.
"Obviously day one was a disappointing day for all us bowlers, but I don't think it was so much exploiting the conditions, we didn't really hit consistent areas."