Captain Graeme Smith hailed "an outstanding day" for South Africa as they took control of the first Test against England.
Centuries for Smith, who made 131 in his 100th Test, and Hashim Amla took the Proteas to 403 for two and a lead of 18 at the Oval. Amla ended the third day 183 not out and will resume on Sunday morning in an unbroken partnership of 143 with Jacques Kallis (82no) as the tourists look to drive home their advantage.
And Smith told Sky Sports News: "It was an outstanding day, we knew we had to make a few plays and we've done that. Now there are two big days left in the Test match."
South Africa have fought back well after Alastair Cook's hundred helped England take the upper hand on day one and Smith continued: "We're a mature unit and we know when we need to step it up.
"It wasn't a terrible day one but there weren't many highlights for us. At 260 for three it would be easy to let the game slide and give England dominance."
England bowling coach David Saker watched his charges struggle against Smith and Amla for virtually the whole day but said: "They're quite upbeat considering what's happened today.
"The bowlers toiled really well, I couldn't have asked much more of them, and the fielders worked hard but the day belonged to South Africa.
"We just couldn't get the ball off the straight. Against class players you need some lateral movement and we couldn't do that, and the batters were really classy."