Dean Elgar's patient 17th Test half-century allowed South Africa to recover from a shaky start to rest on 218/5 at the end of the first day of the second Test against the West Indies in St Lucia.
SCORECARD | West Indies v Proteas - 2nd Test
Elgar (77) couldn't quite see out the day as the accurate Kyle Mayers (1/24) castled him with one that nipped back two overs before the new ball was available. Still, his 237-ball knock ensured the Proteas recovery from the loss of three early wickets and are in a good position after losing the toss.
Elgar shared important stands of 87 runs with Kyle Verreynne (27) and 79 runs with Quinton de Kock (59*) to steady the innings after Shannon Gabriel (2/47), Jayden Seales (1/28) and Kemar Roach (1/33) rocked SA's batting boat during a difficult morning session.
De Kock remains firm and the key towards a competitive total for the visitors. After his first Test pyrotechnics, the West Indies know what he's about.
His 89-ball 50 was also untroubled and one the West Indies know they need to control before he gets out of hand.
De Kock's had played a crucial role in upping the tempo after Elgar was happy to soak up the pressure.
The intent changed as South Africa scored 55 runs in the first hour after tea while the 50-run stand came off 90 balls.
It was contrast to the 44 runs in the 25 overs of the first session that Elgar and Verreynne had to negotiate.
The Elgar and Verreynne partnership was crucial. It rescued South Africa from a dire 37/3 and eased through the difficult conditions.
Verreynne didn't fritter away his start, but would have been disappointed by being strangled down the leg side by Shannon Gabriel when he finally got a start.
The fourth-wicket alliance steadied the ship after the morning session where the West Indies bowled beautifully.
That South Africa finished where they were was in stark contrast to how they started the day.
They lost three early wickets as Aiden Markram (0), Keegan Petersen (7) and Rassie van der Dussen (4) couldn't survive the early stern examination.
Markram, who made 60 in the first Test, slapped his third ball to Roston Chase at backward point off Gabriel.
Petersen was measured and found wanting outside his off-stump and guided a Seales outswinger to Jason Holder at second slip.
Van der Dussen was on the receiving end of a thorough working over from Roach, who then detonated his off-stump with a delivery that held its line.
Elgar, who's carried his bat twice in his career, found a way to survive.
Did he thrive? Not exactly, as his dismissal to Mayers showed.
His presence ensured that the Proteas kept the manful hosts out on the field for the whole day.
The run-rate wasn't the highest, an excellent measure of the control the West Indies bowled with, but it has kept them in the game.