South Africa's cricketers have ticked the first proverbial box of their Australian tour.

Fast bowlers flexed their muscles and most key batsmen made runs in a low-key tour opener in Adelaide at the weekend.

South Africa made 415, bowled a Cricket Australia XI out for 103, then posted 4-181 in their second innings of the two-day pink-ball match.

Pacemen Dale Steyn was eye-catching with 2-9 from six overs and fellow quicks Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel and Kyle Abbott took two wickets each.

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"You're never going to play full match intensity but I think we have done well and got some good things out of this game," Abbott said.

"It has ticked all the boxes that we came here to do."

So content were the tourists, they preferred a final hour of internal centre- wicket practice under lights at Adelaide Oval to continuing the game until its scheduled end.

The match was the first with a pink ball for some of the South Africans, who Abbott said adapted well to the conditions they will encounter in the day-night Adelaide Test later next month.

"At night it does seem to nip around," Abbott said.

"When it came from natural light to artificial light it was a bit of a struggle ... when the full lights are on it hasn't been too bad.

"I don't think we have seen this much grass on a pitch in the last seven years.

"It's just to keep the ball in nick - even after 15 overs or so it started to peel a bit so it will be interesting to see how it holds up in the Test match."

The Proteas slipped into gear quickly against a CA XI all aged 22 or under. Wicketkeeper-batsman Quenton de Kock scored 122 then retired, JP Duminy banked 97 and 32 not out, Hashim Amla made 51 retired - only captain Faf du Plessis (8 and 20) and Stephen Cook (5 and 12) failed twice with the bat.

And all of the pace bowling brigade achieved multiple success.

"Everyone wants to get a wicket, especially in warm-up games, it's nice to get off the mark," Abbott said. South Africans play another two-day tour match on Thursday and Friday in Adelaide before travelling to Perth for the first Test starting November 3.