A century partnership from Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis put South Africa firmly in control on 255 for two at the end of day one of the first Test against Australia in Brisbane.
The early loss of captain Graeme Smith for 10 to a DRS lbw decision did not prove too much of a setback as Amla (90 not out) and Alviro Petersen (64) saw them through to lunch without further incident.
And when Petersen fell victim to the match's only specialist spinner, Brandon Lyon, Kallis (84 not out) picked up where he left off.
Smith, who chose to bat after winning the toss, was on four when an unsuccessful leg-side caught-behind appeal off Ben Hilfenhaus spurred Australia captain Michael Clarke to ask for a review, with replays showing the ball was some distance from the bat.
James Pattinson struck with the first ball of his second spell, though, pinning the Proteas skipper to the crease and getting a straightforward lbw at the second time of asking after umpire Billy Bowden had initially said no.
At 29 for one Australia pressed for further inroads and the impressive Pattinson subjected Amla to some difficult moments early on. But South Africa looked ever more comfortable in the second hour - never more so than when Amla drove Nathan Lyon for six - and took lunch on 90 for one.
Petersen made slow progress to 50 after the resumption but, once he hit the landmark, cut loose by cutting Hilfenhaus for four. He was similarly clinical in pulling a short ball from Peter Siddle to the boundary but, in the next over, mistimed an on-side stroke off Lyon and found Mike Hussey at mid-on to leave his side 119 for two.
Amla and Kallis consolidated before the former brought up his 50 with a typically elegant cover drive. Neither batsman looked in much trouble thereafter, Kallis asserting his authority by pulling Lyon for six, though Amla did edge a cut off the same bowler between wicketkeeper and slip.
The third session was one of missed chances for Australia, and Peter Siddle in particular. Siddle had Kallis caught by Lyon off a leading edge, but it was chalked off as he had overstepped, and then dropped a return chance off Amla.
Both took advantage as Kallis raced past 50 in 63 balls and the pair posted a partnership which had reached 136 by the time bad light ended play 10 minutes early with only 82 overs bowled. The day ended on a sour note for the Proteas, though, when batsman JP Duminy was rushed to hospital after suffering an ankle injury in a post-stumps training exercise.