Captain Graeme Smith and Justin Ontong struck fluent half-centuries on Sunday against an Indian Board President's XI, finding some welcome form ahead of South Africa's first Test against India starting this week.
Smith struck 86 on a slow, turning wicket and Ontong added 70 as South Africa declared their first innings on 226 for five. The Indian side were four for no loss at close of the first day with Test opener Gautam Gambhir and Sadagopan Ramesh at the crease.
South Africa started confidently after winning the toss with a 72-run opening stand before Jacques Rudolph was run out for 26.
But Smith, who struck five fours, and Ontong hung on before captain Sairaj Bahutule dismissed both batsmen in quick succession with his leg-spin.
All-rounder Jacques Kallis could manage only 10 and Boeta Dippenaar 14 as the 31-year-old Bahutule, who has played two Tests for India, finished with four wickets for 64 from his 31 overs.
South Africa coach Ray Jennings said he was happy with his team's performance on their first outing in Indian conditions.
"We're quite satisfied with how the day went. The wickets fell only because we were planning to declare," he said.
"What I really want to see is how our spinners do in these conditions tomorrow."
South Africa were the first team in over 13 years to win a Test series on Indian soil on their last visit in 2000. The first Test starts in Kanpur on Saturday and the second will be played in Kolkata from November 28.
South Africa first innings
J.Rudolph run out (Bhandari) 26
G.Smith st Dhoni b Bahutule 86
J.Ontong c Gambhir b Bahutule 70
J.Kallis lbw b Bahutule 10
B.Dippenaar c Powar b Bahutule 14
H.Amla not out 2
Z.de Bruyn not out 7
Extras (b-6 lb-4 nb-1) 11
Total (for five wickets, declared, 88 overs) 226
Fall of wickets: 1-72, 2-164, 3-190, 4-209, 5-217
Did not bat: M.Ntini, S.Pollock, A.Hall, T.Tsolekile
Bowling: Bhandari 7-3-13-0 (nb-1), Paul 11-3-24-0, Powar 27-3-78-0, Bahutule 31-5-64-4, Badani 1-0-5-0, Mongia 11-1-32-0
Indian Board President's XI first innings
S.Ramesh not out 3
G.Gambhir not out 0
Extras (b-1) 1
Total (for no wicket, 3 overs) 4
To bat: D.Jadhav, H.Badani, Y.Venugopal Rao, D.Mongia, S.Bahutule, R.Powar, S.Paul, A.Bhandari, M.Dhoni
Bowling (to date): Pollock 2-2-0-0, Ntini 1-0-3-0.