AB de Villiers broke another record, but South Africa made slow progress on the opening day of the 2nd Test against Australia in Port Elizabeth.
The Proteas batsman made his 12th consecutive Test half-century, but the hosts could only reach 214-5 when bad light ended play seven overs early.
David Elgar made 83 while Faf du Plessis contributed 55, but both fell after tea to spin.
South Africa won the toss and elected to bat but lost captain Graeme Smith in just the fifth over as he played all across a straight one from Ryan Harris and was trapped lbw.
Hamish Amla followed three balls later for a duck as a full delivery from Mitchell Johnson saw him adjudged lbw.
However Elgar, promoted to the top of the order for the first time in a Test as a replacement for the ill Alviro Petersen, and du Plessis took the total to 64-2 at lunch.
They brought up a century partnership for the third wicket with du Plessis making 55 before he prodded Nathan Lyon to Steve Smith at short leg.
Elgar reached his half-century off 112 balls and South Africa went to tea on 145-3.
|South Africa 1st Innings 214 for 5 (83.0 overs)|
|Elgar||c Harris||b Lyon||83||291||193|
|du Plessis||c Doolan||b Lyon||55||158||126|
|AB de Villiers||not out||51||150||126|
|de Kock||c Sub||b Smith||7||28||17|
|Extras||0nb 1w 4b 2lb||7|
The 26-year-old had moved to within 17 runs of a second Test century when he attempted a slog sweep off Lyon, only to be caught at mid-off by Harris.
South Africa suffered a further blow when part-time leg-spinner Smith removed debutant Quinton de Kock for seven as he charged down the wicket only to loft a catch to sub Moises Henriques at mid-off.
De Villiers reached yet another 50 late on before play was called off for the day.