Cape Town - After a disastrous Test series in India, the Proteas top order was thrust into Sunfoil Series action on Thursday in the hope that they would get some runs in preparation for the Boxing Day Test against England.
Of the specialist batsmen in India, only AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis did not turn out for their franchises.
But while time in the middle was the aim, the reality was more failure.
Only Temba Bavuma, who opened the batting in the fourth Test against India, emerged from the day with any real success.
Here is how the Proteas went on Thursday in provincial colours:
Stiaan van Zyl - 15
Desperate for runs, the Cobras opener faced just 25 balls before he left an in-swinger from Dillon du Preez to be bowled for 15.
Dean Elgar - 0
Van Zyl's partner for Boxing Day faced just two balls for the Titans and then spent the rest of the day watching team-mate Heino Kuhn take full advantage of conditions as he cruised to 141.
Hashim Amla - 10
In at No 3, Amla could not rescue the sinking Cobras ship. He faced 45 balls for his 10, striking one boundary, but this wasn't the catalyst he needed.
JP Duminy - 35
The Cobras were skittled for just 146, and Duminy top-scored. It was hardly a jaw-dropping innings, but the time in the middle would have done him well ahead of what is a crucial England series for Duminy.
Temba Bavuma - 57
Back in his more familiar middle-order position for the Lions, Bavuma did his Boxing Day credentials no harm at all. He could only add 5 runs to his overnight score, though, and was dismissed early on Friday.
Dane Piedt - 0 and 0/11
Came in at No 7 for the Cobras but did not trouble the scorers and only bowled six overs.