The Proteas reached 256 for five – for an 11-run lead – on day two of this week’s first Test against India at SuperSport Park in Centurion.
Opener Dean Elgar, who will retire from international cricket after this series, hit a century. He moved to 140 not out from 211 deliveries – and struck 23 fours.
Debutant David Bedingham hit 56 from 87 balls, including seven fours and two sixes.
“I had the fortune of playing a few games with Bedingham at the Cape Cobras. His timing is great and he is a class cricketer,” said former Proteas batsman Hashim Amla, who was commentating on SuperSport at the time.
“When David hits the ball, it stays hit. It was exhibition cricket from him today. It looks like he has played 100 Test matches.”
Elgar and Bedingham shared a 131-run partnership for the fifth wicket of the dismissals of opener Aiden Markram and middle-order batsmen Tony de Zorzi and Keegan Petersen.
Elgar added: “David is a hell of a player and an even nicer guy. He looked like a man who had played half a dozen Tests already – really calm and composed,” said Elgar.
“It was important for both of us to have the mindset to score runs, not just to survive on a wicket like that. It flattened out a little bit in the afternoon, but there was still plenty of movement.”
India’s first-innings totalled 245 all out after a century from wicketkeeper-batsman KL Rahul. Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada took a five-wicket haul.
The second and final Test will be played at Newlands in Cape Town next week.