Quinton de Kock narrowly missed out on a seventh Test ton, but carried the Proteas to the relative formidability of 298 all out at lunch on day two of the second Test against the West Indies in St Lucia.
Scorecard | West Indies v Proteas - 2nd Test
His 162-ball knock deserved the four extra runs, but by chasing a wide Kyle Mayers (3/28) delivery as he edged it onto Joshua Da Silva's gloves, which rebounded and was caught by Shai Hope at gully.
De Kock's wicket was part of a late-session collapse that saw South Africa lose three wickets for six runs just before lunch.
Kagiso Rabada's (21*) aggression carried them close to the 300-mark and partially arrested the mini-collapse.
De Kock's innings was faultless and it underscored the value of De Kock to the national team's cause.
While he came in with less pressure at 124/4 on the first day after the fall of Kyle Verreynne's wicket to Shannon Gabriel, he had to navigate the losses of Dean Elgar (77) late on the first day and Wiaan Mulder (8) on the second morning.
The ton would have been his second batting at number six and the first time he would have scored back-to-back tons against any Test side.
The landmark wasn't reached, but SA had a decent total after losing the toss and batting first under challenging conditions.
De Kock had resumed on 59* with the team being on 218/5 after 82 overs. Again, morning rain delayed the start of play by 30 minutes, but bright sunshine bathed the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground and so did De Kock's innings.
It was far less exciting but no less important as SA needed a 50 to be converted. With Elgar falling late to Mayers on the first innings, De Kock again took it up upon himself to ensure SA had more than a competitive total to bowl to.
There were only eight fours in his knock, but that spoke to the accuracy of the West Indian bowling and the sound judgment of his innings.
It was that judgment that was slightly missing from Mulder, who edged a Kemar Roach (3/45) delivery to Da Silva to see SA slip to 239/6.
Keshav Maharaj's (12) batting form has gone walkabout recently but provided a modicum of resistance before he chased a wide Jason Holder (1/45) delivery into Da Silva's gloves.
Maharaj hadn't made the most of his two lives after Da Silva had missed a stumping of Roston Chase's bowling.
The other life was a leg-before review that the West Indies wasted on him, even though it looked tight in real-time.
Anrich Nortje (5) was Mayers' third scalp when he holed out to Jayden Seales at midwicket while Lungi Ngidi (1) became Roach's third wicket to end the extended session.