Wilting West Indies were left to rue four missed chances as South Africa went through the afternoon session without losing a wicket to reach 157/1 at tea on the opening day of the second test on Friday.
The touring side were sloppy in the field, allowing Dean Elgar to reach the interval unbeaten on 85 having put on 110 for the second wicket with an out-of-sorts Faf du Plessis who was on 42.
Each batsman offered two gilt-edged chances in a session best forgotten by the West Indian fielders, who did not back up the good work done by their improved bowling attack.
Du Plessis had eight when he slashed the ball to Marlon Samuels at gully off Jerome Taylor, but was dropped.
The right-hander, on 26, was also put down at first slip off spinner Sulieman Benn and the next ball the tall West Indian was left fuming as wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin missed a simple stumping chance after Elgar skipped down the wicket.
Elgar was fortunate to survive a run-out chance when he gave up halfway down the wicket having called an impossible single to mid-on and watched with relief as the throw missed the stumps with his score on 73.
Better than previous match
The only wicket to fall was that of out-of-form opener Alviro Petersen who was caught at cover by Leon Johnson off Shannon Gabriel for 17.
The West Indian bowlers deserved more having performed much better than their lacklustre display in the innings and 220-run defeat in the first test in Pretoria.
They were better in line and length on a wicket that showed variable bounce and took sizeable turn from Benn.
Gabriel came in for the injured Kemar Roach and left-arm seamer Kenroy Peters made his debut.
Medium-pacer Jason Holder, recently installed as one-day international captain, also came in, with batsman Jermaine Blackwood and fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell missing out.
South Africa handed a debut to 24-year-old right-hander Temba Bavuma, who replaces injured wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.
The home side also brought in leg-spinner Imran Tahir in place of seamer Kyle Abbott. – Reuters