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South Australian run glutton Michael Klinger reckons his latest feast was more pub fare than fine dining - but fulfilling, nonetheless.

Klinger says his grafted century against Victoria was substance over style as he tormented his former state on Thursday's opening day of the Sheffield Shield match at Adelaide Oval.

Klinger's unbeaten 115 underpinned SA's 2-273, with Tom Cooper (80 not out) and Sam Raphael (61) both scoring half-centuries.

"It was hard going. It certainly for me personally wasn't one of my prettiest innings," Klinger said after posting his 17th first-class ton.

"But it's one of those wickets which is very flat but also slow, so when you bowl good areas and nice and straight it can be quite difficult to score on."

Klinger featured in two big partnerships - 121 runs with fellow opener Raphael and an unbroken 145-run stand with Cooper, who is now the Shield's leading run-scorer this season.

Victoria's successes came in a four-over span on an otherwise barren day for the visitors - spinner Glenn Maxwell took two quick wickets but otherwise, Bushranger bowlers were economical yet rarely threatening.

Maxwell, in his first over some 30 minutes before tea, broke the opening partnership by dismissing Raphael, who made his maiden first-class half-century.

Raphael prodded forward defensively but nicked to slip, where Cameron White took a smart catch diving low and to his right.

Just two overs later, White turfed another catch.

At second slip from John Hasting's bowling, White dropped a fast head-high chance from the bat of Travis Head, who had yet to score.

But in the next over, White made amends with a superb reflex catch to dismiss Head for four.

The SA left-hander tried to turn a delivery to the leg-side but an outside edge flew to White, who took a brilliant one-handed catch.

Cooper, now with 770 runs this Shield campaign, then joined Klinger, who since moving to SA from Victoria in 2008 has struck 10 Shield centuries for the Redbacks.

Maxwell finished the day with 2-20 from seven overs, paceman John Hastings sent down 15 miserly overs which cost just 27 runs and fellow quick Scott Boland (0-27 from 13 overs) was also tidy.