South Africa captain Graeme Smith led from the front as the tourists hit back on day two of the second Test against Australia in Adelaide.
Smith crafted a superb 111 not out as South Africa gave themselves a fighting chance by reaching 217-2 at stumps - a deficit of 333 - after the hosts had dominated day one.
Australia had scored runs at will to reach 482-5 overnight - the second highest opening-day score in a Test match - however they failed to build on this platform as Morne Morkel ripped through the tail.
Australia were bowled out for 550 just before lunch, with Morkel finishing with figures of 5-146.
Morkel bowled dangerman Michael Clarke for 230 in the fifth over of the day, with Matthew Wade then edging behind.
Rory Kleinveldt claimed his first Test wicket as Peter Siddle edged to Smith at first slip, before Morkel accounted for Ben Hilfenhaus, who top-edged an attempted hook to Dale Steyn.
James Pattinson offered some resistance as he went after Imran Tahir, however his cameo was ended when he edged Steyn to Smith in the slips for 42.
Smith and Alviro Petersen combined superbly at the top of the order to give the Proteas a solid start. The duo put on 138 for the opening wicket before Petersen was run out for 54, with the opener guilty of a lacklustre attempt to make his ground from Mike Hussey's throw.
Hashim Amla added just 11 to the total before he was stumped by Wade attempting to smack part-time spinner David Warner out of the attack.
Smith, though, brought up his 26th Test century off 198 balls, while Jacques Rudolph was unbeaten on 25 at the close.