Stephen Cook led from the front as South Africa A piled up 271-3 on the first day of their unofficial Test against Zimbabwe A in Harare.
The Highveld Lions captain, who made a hundred in his Proteas debut against England in January, underpinned the innings with a resolute 78 off 150 balls,which included just six fours.
He was admirably backed up by Theunis de Bruyn (52) and Stiaan van Zyl, who was unbeaten on 69 at the close, alongside Omphile Ramela (39).
While Zimbabwe might be regarded as a weak opposition, the South Africans did what was needed to be done.
De Bruyn found a freedom to strike 10 fours among his 60 balls while the Zimbabwe bowlers were content they had kept the run-rate under control at 3.01. They may find that South Africa will open up on day two of the four-day contest.
That’s when a strong South African seam attack comes in, led by Vernon Philander, who sees these matches as a way back to the Proteas squad to play New Zealand in August,
This the first of two ‘Tests’ before the A team move on to Australia at the end of July.