At the 16 over interval, the West Indies were 62/5 and facing the prospect of a heavy defeat unless the two men at the crease, Denesh Ramdin and Darren Sammy, can produce something special.
The highest ever chase at this venue is 334/8 by Australia against England back in 2011, so it appears that even history is against the Windies.
Two quick wickets from Kyle Abott, brought into the side in place of the injured Vernon Philander, put the West Indies on the back foot before a strike by Morne Morkel and then two scalps for Imran Tahir piled the pressure on.
Abbott accounted for danger man Chris Gayle in the second over, a fuller delivery clattered into the leg-stump, and then had Marlon Samuels caught behind by Quinton de Kock in the fourth over.
Opener Dwayne Smith and Jonathan Carter added 36 for the third wicket but the latter was brilliantly caught by AB de Villiers off Morkel with the final ball of the 11th over.
Smith managed to get to 31 off 34 balls before Tahir struck with both his wickets coming in the 12th over to peg West Indies at 53/5.
Earlier, a destructive batting display from De Villiers, coupled with contributions from a number of members of the top order, saw South Africa post the highest ever One Day International total on Australian soil.
Riley Rossouw brought in to replace Jp Duminy, added 61 off 39 balls while Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis both added half-centuries during a vital second wicket stand of 127.