South African 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 they went on to post 318 with Nayar, Dhawan and Manish Pandey (43) starring with the bat.
South African 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 identical eight runs and Parnell dealt back-to-back blow when he removed Rohit (20) and Ajinkya Rahane (12) in successive overs.
The setbacks apparently had no effect on Manish 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.