Pretoria: Captain Hashim Amla continued to be the rock for South Africa and Stiaan van Zyl scored a half-century on debut as the hosts cruised to 449 for four at lunch on day two of the opening test against West Indies on Thursday.
Amla remains unbeaten on 178, his 23rd test century, and along with left-hander Vvan Zyl, who survived some early nerves to go to the interval on 51, will resume after the break at Centurion in search of a massive first innings total. The pair have already put on 84 in their fifth-wicket stand after Van Zyl was nearly out first ball when he tickled a leg-side delivery from left-arm spinner Suleiman Benn that fell just short of the leg slip. He was then dropped on two by Kraigg Brathwaite in the same position off Benn again but grew in confidence and caressed a number of fine boundaries through the offside.
Amla will be eyeing a third double hundred for the Proteas, with his ability to hold concentration over long periods a key element of his game.
The only wicket to fall in another dominant session for South Africa was AB de Villiers for 152, who became a first victim in the test for the luckless Benn when a thick outside edge was caught by Jermaine Blackwood at point.
His dismissal ended a record fourth-wicket stand in tests for South Africa of 308, the partnership with Amla digging the side out of trouble on the first morning when the hosts lost three quick wickets to slip to 57-3.
The West Indies bowling attack has toiled without their main attacking weapon in Kemar Roach, who is unlikely to feature again in the test.
He limped off on day one and an MRI scan showed slight ligament damage but the West Indies have said he will bowl in the second innings if needed.
That likelihood appears unlikely, however, as the home side are taking the test away from the tourists with every run they add to their total.