Australia enjoyed a prolific day of run-scoring at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday, scoring 482 for five as skipper Michael Clarke once again ran riot through the depleted South African bowling ranks.
Clarke became the first man to score four double centuries in a calendar year, ending the day unbeaten on a magnificent 224 off 243 balls. His knock was full of assurance and he had no problem taking the bowlers, from pace to spin, apart, hitting 39 fours and a six.
He wasn't the only big scorer on the day though, as David Warner recorded a vital century as he was at risk of being dropped for poor form. He made 119 off 112 balls early in the day, before being dismissed by Morne Morkel.
At stumps, Michael Hussey walked off the field having just lost his wicket to Dale Steyn, after scoring 103 off 137 balls. Mr Cricket was Clarke's batting partner for much of the day as they put on 272 together, adding to the 155 Clarke put on with Warner.
The South African bowlers were a dejected bunch as they left the field. They started the day having to replace Vernon Philander with Rory Kleinveldt as the former woke up with a back spasm. The rookie did not impress, taking no wickets and overstepping six times.
Added to that, Jacques Kallis had to leave the field after taking two early wickets, having picked up what looked like a hamstring injury. He was sent to hospital for scans and did not return, leaving Graeme Smith a bowler short.
This would have been tolerable had spinner Imran Tahir bowled with any kind of control, but he was by far the worst of the Proteas attack. He rarely pitched the ball in the same place twice, and found himself hit for six into the construction area a number of times. He went at more than seven to the over in his 21 overs.
After winning the toss and choosing to bat, the Aussies rocketed along at more than six runs to the over for most of the day. The afternoons session alone saw them go at seven to the over, asTahir in particular was smashed all over the park.
Openers Warner and Ed Cowan put on 43 for the first wicket, with Cowan making only 10 of those runs before being caught and bowled by Jacques Kallis. Warner brooked no argument to his hitting though, and continued as two more partners fell.
Kallis also got rid of veteran batsman Ricky Ponting, bowling him with a full delivery that put him on his knees in a manner that would have been humiliating for such a legendary player. Soon afterwards, Kallis had to leave the field with what looked like a hamstring injury.
Rob Quiney, in the side for the injured Shane Watson and playing in only his second Test, failed to impress yet again. He was caught in the slips off Morne Morkel for a duck, failing to negotiate a shorter ball going into his body.
Warner's knock was finally halted in the afternoon, after he'd put on 155 in partnership with Clarke, as he was caught by Smith off Morkel. The celebration was muted, as the skipper was still in the middle and looking solid.
Clarke and Hussey scored 202 runs in the afternoon session, enjoying the softer ball and making it even softer by clattering it into the advertising boards at least once an over.
Clarke brought up his double century off 226 balls, in the 82nd over, with a single. All of the Oval rose to their feet, and didn't have time to sit back down as Hussey got his ton next ball. He smashed Tahir into the construction site for six to bring up the three figures.
Hussey's wicket off what turned out to be the final ball of the day was a band-aid on a gaping wound, and not even Steyn could find the energy to celebrate as the bails went flying.