Amla made 311 not out as South Africa declared at 637 for two at tea; a first innings lead of 252.
It was a relentless performance by the South African batsmen on a pitch that has yet to deteriorate to the extent expected earlier in the match.
The pick of the match is so far Hashim Amla's performance. Amla's innings was a display of unyielding concentration and determination, yet he rarely lost his graceful touch until he became a little tense in the 290s. His driving continued to be the stand-out feature of the innings and even when England packed the off side he would calmly and carefully pierce the gaps with regularity.
Amla, who gave his only chance when he was on 40 on Friday, went past numerous landmarks, lifting the tempo of his innings but seldom playing a false stroke.
He beat his own previous highest score -- 253 not out against India in Nagpur in 2009-10.
Then a clip through mid-wicket for four off took him past the South African record of 278 not out by AB de Villiers against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in 2010/11.
England set ultra-defensive fields but could not halt the flow of runs. With Amla on 299, England captain brought the field up to stop a single but the batsman played a rare lofted drive for four over cover to earn a prolonged standing ovation from the crowd.
Amla reached his double century off 392 balls and needed only another 123 deliveries to reach 300 with his 35th boundary.