Harmison and Anderson shine for KP
Kevin Pietersen could not have asked for a better response from his bowlers in his first day in the field. They all responded in conditions that favoured swing bowlers, but on a surface that should have yielded more than 194 runs.
After a rather scruffy morning session which was curtailed by a shower of rain, Pietersen was able to maintain attacking fields during the afternoon in which James Anderson and Steve Harmison took five wickets between them. Even Monty Panesar did precisely what Pietersen asked of him - twice!
Bringing the spinner on for the last over before tea - as many captains do - Monty had the obdurate AB de Villiers lbw with his third ball. And then, when the last pair had hung around long enough to be thoroughly annoying, Pietersen turned to his spinner again, and he bowled Makhaya Ntini with his fifth ball.
Although Pietersen will grab the headlines, it was the efforts of Harmison and Anderson in particular that deserve them. Harmison was entrusted with the new ball for the first time since the ill-fated Ashes campaign of 2006/07 and while we all held our breath as he propelled the first delivery of the match, Alastair Cook promptly dropped a straightforward chance in the gully from Graeme Smith, of all people.
In fact, Smith looked rather jaded following his heroics at Edgbaston, and was nothing like his usual imposing self. He finally top-edged Harmison to long leg and, next ball, Harmison ripped out Hashim Amla's middle stump. That ball was timed at 93mph - pretty serious - and there's no doubt that Harmison looks a different bowler now he has some overs in his legs. The question is how England will monitor his fitness and preparation before his next Test appearance in Ahmedabad in December, because he simply can't afford to turn up as short of work as he was in New Zealand.
Anderson began at the Pavilion End, which did not suit his outswing. Switching to the Vauxhall End after the break, the breeze was exactly where he wanted it, and the ball swung both ways. His dismissal of Jacques Kallis was classical swing bowling - a perfect inswinger trapping him lbw after a series of outswingers. Perfection, and another disappointment in this series for Kallis.
No one should get carried away because England's reduced batting line-up faces a testing second day, but at least the new era has dawned brightly.