Kevin Pietersen's first day as England Test captain proved a resounding success as South Africa were decimated at the Brit Oval.
Having replaced Michael Vaughan as leader earlier in the week, 28-year-old Pietersen lost the toss but saw his team dismiss the tourists for just 194.
England lost Andrew Strauss early in their response but they closed the opening day of the final match of the npower series in a strong position of 49 for one.
Strauss' disappointment tarnished an otherwise impeccable maiden day in the post-Vaughan era as his own poor trot in the campaign was extended when he hung his bat outside off-stump and edged pace bowler Makhaya Ntini to Graeme Smith at first slip.
But Ian Bell, promoted up the order in the reshuffle, accompanied Alastair Cook until the close.
Earlier, England new-ball pair Steve Harmison and James Anderson did the significant damage as the tourists were dismissed shortly after 5pm.
Both generated significant pace on a bouncy Oval surface with Anderson claiming three wickets and Harmison two in a triumphant afternoon session.