The Kiwis posted 258 for two with an unbroken stand of 219.
Scorecard: New Zealand vs South Africa, 1st Test
South Africa, opting to bowl after winning the toss, made an immediate impact when debutant Tshepo Moreki dismissed Devon Conway in the second over.
Dane Paterson, another Proteas debutant, had Tom Blundell edge behind for 20.
However, Ravindra and Williamson showcased resilience against accurate seam-bowling by South Africa’s inexperienced attack. The duo patiently built their partnership, frustrating the Proteas as they ended the day safely at the crease.
Ravindra, playing his first Test in two years, remained unbeaten on 118, while captain Williamson reached an unbeaten 112.
Despite a moment of frustration for Williamson when attempting a slog over the covers, both batsmen demonstrated their class in challenging conditions.
The Proteas, featuring six debutants and captained by Neil Brand, aimed to prioritize the SA20 competition. While South Africa’s seamers impressed in the first two sessions, the Kiwi batsmen took control in the final session.
Seamer Duanne Olivier acknowledged the efforts of Williamson and Ravindra but expressed confidence that much could still unfold in the remaining four days.
The second Test is scheduled for February 13 in Hamilton.
(With inputs from Reuters)