Dean Elgar began his farewell series with an accomplished unbeaten century to put South Africa ahead of India on day two of the first Test at Centurion.
Elgar will retire from international cricket after next week’s clash in Cape Town and offered a fitting reminder of his qualities with a polished 140 not out – his first Proteas ton in nearly three years.
The 36-year-old occupied the crease for 66 overs, facing 211 deliveries and cracking 23 fours to lead his side to 256 for five. That put South Africa into a narrow lead of 11, with the tourists having earlier been bowled out for 245.
KL Rahul, resuming on 70 overnight, completed a superb century of his own as he scored 31 of his side’s 37 runs in the morning session. He was last man out, bowled by debutant Nadre Burger, having almost single-handedly kept India competitive.
With Elgar holding firm at the top of the order and captain Temba Bavuma absent with a hamstring injury, India successfully chipped away Aiden Markram, Tony de Zorzi and Keegan Petersen to leave the hosts 113 for three.
But another newcomer, Durham batter David Bedingham, helped South Africa press ahead with an elegant 56 in his maiden Test innings. He put on 131 alongside Elgar, who brought up his 14th hundred, before being cleaned up by Mohamed Siraj.
Kyle Verreyne followed as Prasidh Krishna opened his account as a Test bowler before bad light brought an early finish.