Captain Hashim Amla was still at the crease with a superb 178 not out as he took South Africa to a commanding 449 for four at lunch on the second day of the first Test against the West Indies at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Thursday.
Amla, who began the day on 133 off 242 balls, applied himself diligently on the second morning, adding 45 runs off 88 deliveries to ensure South Africa did not waste a rousing first day to the Test in which he and AB de Villiers added an unbroken 283 for the fourth wicket to take them to 340 for three at stumps.
The pair took their partnership to 308, the highest for any wicket at Centurion in 19 Tests, before De Villiers was dismissed in the 100th over, the ninth of the day.
De Villiers was once again in inspired form as he cruised to 152 in five hours, 18 minutes, facing 235 balls and stroking 16 fours and two sixes.
But totally against the run of play, he then edged an expansive lofted drive at left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn, who obtained a smidgen of turn, and the ball skewed comfortably into the hands of cover-point.
Debutant Stiaan van Zyl then came in and was in trouble early on, almost turning his first ball from Benn into the hands of leg-gully, playing and missing outside off stump against the quicks and even being dropped by Kraigg Braithwaite at leg-gully off Benn when he had just two.
But the left-hander then settled and played some impressive strokes through the off-side, reaching a half-century on debut in good time, off 74 balls with eight fours.
Fast bowler Kemar Roach is expected to make an appearance in the second session, but having spent the best part of a session-and-a-half off the field having an ankle ligament niggle treated, he won’t be allowed to bowl before South Africa, in firm control, have surely declared.