Bangladesh were made to toil in the first Test in Potchefstroom as South Africa reached 298/1 by stumps having been put in to bat.
Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim will likely rue the decision to insert the home side on a pitch that offered little for the seamers.
While the spinners could get some turn, the pace of the wicket made it easier to handle.
The Proteas handed a debut to opener Aiden Markram and he got his new partnership with Dean Elgar off to a great start.
The South Africans reached 99/0 at lunch in a first session that saw little in the way of opportunities.
The pair put together the first 150 opening partnership for South Africa since 2010 and looked like they might bat all day.
However with tea looming and Elgar on 99 the left-hander called Markram through for a single only to send him back after he had crossed the halfway mark on the pitch.
Markram was run out just three runs short of what would have been a fine century on Test debut.
Elgar would ton up soon after but his celebration for his ninth Test hundred was muted and when they left the field for tea he could be seen to throw his bat down in frustration in the dressing room.
Hashim Amla played aggressively and was put down by Sabbir Rahman on his way to his 35th Test fifty which he brought up in style by smashing a straight six.
Amla and Elgar brought up their hundred partnership in the final over of the day and left the home side in charge.
Mehedi Hasan bowled 33 overs in the day leaving some to question why another spinner was not picked.
Elgar (128*) and Amla (68*) will resume on Friday morning looking to press ahead.