South Africa's pacers blew away the top half before Abhishek Nayar (100) and Shikhar Dhawan (70) resuscitated Board President's XI with a 181-run seventh wicket stand on the opening day of the two-day practice match in Nagpur on Tuesday.
Put into bat, the local team slumped to 56 for four and then 114 for six but went on to post 318, with Nayar, Dhawan and Manish Pandey (43) starring with the bat.
South Africa captain Graeme Smith allowed all his teammates, barring stumper Mark Boucher, to roll their arms but Morne Morkel (3/24) and Wayne Parnell (3/66) impressed most.
In reply, South Africa were 44 for no loss at stumps, with Smith (30 of 37 balls) and Ashwell Prince (13) in the middle at the Vidarbha Cricket Association ground.
Board President's captain Rohit Sharma opted to bat first after winning toss and was left to rue the decision.
Openers Parthiv Patel and Abhinav Mukund returned soon after scoring eight runs each and Parnell dealt back-to-back blows, dismissing Rohit (20) and Ajinkya Rahane (12) in successive overs.
The setbacks apparently had no effect on Pandey, who played his natural attacking game before Morkell removed him.
Manish needed just 42 balls for his brisk 43, which included five fours and two sixes. It was an ideal situation for Cheteshwar Pujara (17) to come up with something special but the Saurashtra run-machine was castled by Johan Botha as his side slumped to 114 for six.
That brought Nayar and Dhawan in the middle and the duo began the bail-out job with utmost care. They defied the South African attack for nearly 40 overs, rebuilding the innings with sensible cricket.
Nayar helped himself to occasional boundaries that were on offer while Dhawan ran hard between the wickets.
Smith gave both the specialist spinners -- Botha and Paul Harris -- long spells and sent down three overs himself but to no avail.
The stand was eventually broken in the 69th over when Dhawan was run-out, having contributed a 120-ball 70 with the help of 10 fours.
Nayar kept going till he had completed his century and was the last man out after a 202-ball 140 that had 16 boundaries in it.
Indian Board President's XI:
A Mukund c Duminy b Steyn 8
P Patel c Smith b Morkel 8
A Rahane c Morkel b Parnell 12
R Sharma c Harris b Parnell 20
M Pandey c Harris b Morkel 43
C Pujara b Botha 17
A Nayar c Kallis b Morkel 100
S Dhawan run out 70
P Chawla c Boucher b Parnell 8
R Ashwin c Boucher b Kallis 8
Vinay Kumar not out 0
Extras (b-1, lb-6, nb-17) 24
Total (all out in 74.4 overs) 318
Fall of wickets: 1-20, 2-22, 3-53, 4-56, 5-114, 6-114,7-295 8-307, 9-315.
Bowling: Steyn 9-4-17-1; Morkel 7.4-0-24-3; Tsotsobe 6-2-20-0; Parnell 13-1-66-3; Harris 12-0-71-0; Botha 12-0-44-1; McLaren 5-0-29-0; Duminy 5-0-23-0; Smith 3-0-16-0; Kallis 2-1-1-1.
South Africans 1st innings:
A Prince batting 13
G Smith batting 30
Extras (nb-1) 1
Total (for no loss in 13 overs) 44
Bowling: Vinay Kumar 5-1-12-0; Mithun 5-2-19-0; Ashwin 2-0-8-0; Chawla 1-0-5-0.