Third Test, Cape Town:
South Africa 279-6 v England (day one, stumps)
Play resumes Monday: 0815 GMT
Coverage: Test Match Special on BBC Radio Four Longwave, Radio 5 live sports extra, Red Button and BBC Sport website; text commentary online and on mobiles. Also live on Sky Sports
Kallis's century was his second in the series
Jacques Kallis hit his 33rd century in Tests as South Africa recovered from 127-5 to reach 279-6 on day one of the third Test against England.
Kallis made a chanceless unbeaten 108, and featured in an 89-run stand with Mark Boucher (51) for the sixth wicket.
James Anderson and Graeme Swann each took two wickets for England, who opted to field first on winning the toss.
South Africa dropped Makhaya Ntini for Friedel de Wet in the only change made by either side at picturesque Newlands.
Middlesex captain Shaun Udal later confirmed his county were setting their sights on offering a Kolpak contract to the veteran paceman, should he now go on and announce his retirement from international cricket.
After England won the toss and put South Africa in to bat, the focus in Cape Town quickly switched to how South Africa could overturn their 1-0 deficit in the series.
And that they still had a reasonable chance to do so when stumps were drawn was all because of Kallis.
This three-figure score put him fifth on the all-time list of Test century-makers as he went ahead of Steve Waugh, and one ton shy of Brian Lara in fourth place.
With the start of play delayed by half an hour following some light morning showers, and a thick layer of cloud concealing Table Mountain, the attacking move for a captain to win the toss was clearly to field first.
Andrew Strauss's tactic was instantly rewarded when the fourth ball of the match produced a wicket. Anderson sent down a wicked delivery, just back of a length and seaming away from Ashwell Prince.
The out-of-form left-hander nicked it to wicketkeeper Matt Prior and England, still buzzing after the win in Durban, were on the march.
They should have had their next wicket just three balls later when Graeme Smith leant forward and across to drive Graham Onions through the covers only to get a thick edge.
He turned round, expecting Swann to complete an easy catch but England's star turn in recent times, fielding at second slip to protect Paul Collingwood's fractured finger, made a terrible mess of the chance, with Jonathan Trott attempting in vain to grab the rebound.
With the ball continuing to seam about, England pressed on. Although Smith released some pressure with a couple of pulled boundaries off Onions, Stuart Broad was convinced Hashim Amla had feathered an edge behind which umpire Daryl Harper missed.
Strauss asked for the review, but despite an audible nick on the stump microphone the evidence was not conclusive enough for third umpire Aleem Dar, and the not-out verdict remained.
Anderson had the big wicket of Graeme Smith straight after lunch
Not long afterwards, Smith survived a marginal lbw against Onions. England did not use up their one remaining review - and sensibly so because, although Hawkeye suggested the delivery was clipping the bails, there was enough doubt and so on-field umpire Tony Hill's decision would not have been reversed.
The second wicket eventually came on the stroke of lunch, as Onions - persisting with straight, full deliveries at Amla - finally had his reward when the right-hander's penchant for playing across the line was exposed and he fell lbw.
South Africa were in decent shape at 51-2 at lunch but seven balls into the second session Anderson struck again when Smith edged the same sort of delivery that had removed Prince to a tumbling Prior.
It was an important tonic for England, because the clouds were now lifting to make batting so much easier.
So when Kallis and De Villiers busily launched into an important partnership, the tourists needed a couple of lucky breaks.
They got precisely the opposite when De Villiers survived a concerted appeal for caught-behind off Swann. Harper was again the umpire involved and this time England did not review the decision, perhaps chastened by the earlier experience.
Replays showed visible deflection after the ball passed the bat, and to make matters considerably worse when Prior took off the bails the batsman had his foot in the air - but England had not really considered the stumping.
There was a healthy contingent of England fans at Newlands
De Villiers now pounced on a couple of shorter balls from Swann to hit boundaries but had not made good his escape when justice was done for England. Attempting to clip a ball through the on-side he tamely chipped a catch to Strauss at short mid-wicket and England celebrated wildly as they ended an important 76-run partnership.
There was more joy to come from the very next ball when JP Duminy got a thin edge and Prior did the rest, leaving South Africa in strife with half their wickets gone and 150 not yet on the board.
Boucher, one of the South Africans whose position in the side has been questioned, responded to the situation with some positive cricket, including three consecutive fours in a rare poor Swann over.
By tea, Kallis had reached his half-century and South Africa were 183-5, but there was reverse swing on offer now for England's bowlers.
Eventually, Broad capitalised with a delivery that curved back into Boucher, removing the right-hander lbw.
South Africa pushed Dale Steyn two places up the order from his customary number 10 berth, and he responded solidly as Kallis reached his century by driving a wide full-toss from Kevin Pietersen to the extra-cover fence.
It had been a masterful innings from the 34-year-old whose most alarming moment came when he top-edged a pull shot over the slip cordon.
If there was only one really memorable shot played, a dreamy on-drive for four off Onions, it was a classic example of how building an innings in Test cricket is all about high-quality defence and putting away the bad ball.
Steyn was dropped on 22 late in the day after Anderson had taken the new ball, but it was a tough chance missed by Trott diving yards to his right at third slip.
With 6.4 overs left of the scheduled 90, bad light returned to bring the players off and play will start 15 minutes early on day two at 0815 GMT.