197 needs to be a first Asian team to win a Test series in South Africa, Sri Lanka was 60 for two at the end, and 137 more needed to complete a 2-0 series.
"Everyone knows what is expected of them," said bowling coach Rumesh Ratnayake.
"The leadership has said, just going out and enjoying yourself. Everyone is aware that history is being done but that should be at the back of the mind. everyone's freedom to bats how they want to do it at the right time. "
Eighteen wicks fell and 282 runs scored during a special day, leaving both teams a chance to win.
South Africa seemed to take control when Sri Lanka fell in a number of stroke to be bowled out for 154 before lunch, giving the first leader leading to 68 runs.
But Sri Lanka bowls are hitting back, by the out-of-the-counter bowling for paltry 128 – 40 run their lowest in Probation home against the islanders.
Suranga Lakmal, Sri Lanka's most experienced bowler, four for 39, while Dhananjaya de Silva part-time came into three tests to 36.
With only ten wickets in 24 previous tests, De Silva had corresponding figures of five for 51.
He was forced into a front-line role when Lasith Embuldeniya left a left arm scanner, a left thumb had poorly grounded, an injury that required a surgery and prevented from batting or take the field on Friday.
Lakmal said a key to Sri Lanka bowllers was that they were bowling constantly in the right areas.
"The accuracy and density have been good," he said.
"We're pretty confident that we're getting," said Lakmal. But it will not be easy. South Africa's bowling is world class. "
Proteas batting coach Dale Benkenstein insist that the Test is still on the edge of a knife.
"It's not been our best series," he said. "We did not know much about many of their players. We may have been a little complacent.
"But the game is still on the line. A good start (for South Africa) tomorrow morning and it could be very difficult to get those running."
Captain Sri Lanka Dimuth Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne gave 32 for the first wicket at the start of their time, but both were dismissed in the six balls.
Thirimanne was caught behind Kagiso Rabada after making ten to be followed in the next over by Karunaratne for 19, which was taken behind Duanne Olivier's first ball from the soul.
Oshada Fernando and Kusal Mendis saw the day, with Fernando hitting two borders in the past, having been bowling by the Keshav Maharaj scoring.
In a fierce start to the day, Sri Lanka scored 94 runs but lost six wicks in 17.4 hours.
Thirimanne and Kasun Rajitha's night scene were rejected in the first four stones of the morning after the resumption of Sri Lanka at 60 for three.
I was followed by a succession of bat that played incredible shots before not.
Kusal Perera, a surprise star of Sri Lanka, won at the first Test in Durban, injecting two quarters and a surplus six-sided overcame too incredible in one of Rabada before being caught behind at the first time in the bowler. He made 20 away from 15 balls.
De Silva hit four hours to make 24 films away and Niroshan Dickwella hit six and six before he was a final man for 42 of 36 transfers. Rabada took four for 38.