The two put on an unbroken stand of 54 runs to save the South Africans and take them to a respectable score of 293 for six at the end of the first day.
Boucher was the more adventurous of the two hitting six boundaries in his 33, which has come off just 49 balls. Cronje playing a comparatively sedate knock was batting on 33 off 62 balls with five boundaries to his name.
South Africa, who elected to bat after winning the toss, was cruising along at 212 for two with both Daryll Cullinan and Jacques Kallis going strong. However, the slide began when Kallis after playing the ball to cover called for a quick single in his hurry to reach his fifty. Mohd Kaif, who was fielding at cover picked up the ball in a flash and threw at the strikers end to find Cullinan short of his ground.
Two overs later, Kallis who duly completed his fifty with a single was consumed by Mohanty, when Kallis edged a beautiful away swinger which also lifted on the batsman for Mongia to complete the formalities behind the stumps.
Pieter Strydon was the next to go when he played a little early to a flighted delivery from Harbhajan only to give a tame return catch to the bowler.
Harbhajan in his next over dropped a sharp return catch from Lance Klusener. That however did not prove very costly for the Board President's XI as Murli Kartik bowled Klusener when the batsman tried to cut a delivery which was too close to his body.
After tea, the wicket also got slower and some of the balls were not even rising knee high. Kartik was the most impressive bowler for the Board President's XI and he would surely have done his chances no harm ahead of the selection committee meeting to be held on Sunday to pick the Indian squad for the first Test beginning from February 24 in Mumbai.
The Board President's XI would have had the South Africans in further trouble but for their catching. They spilled as many as four catches with the bowler to suffer on three of the four occasions being Murali Kartik. Azharuddin of all the people, was guilty of dropping two of them with Mongia and Harbhajan being the other two to drop catches.
Earlier, after electing to bat, the South African openers gave their side a flying start putting on 104 runs for the first wicket before Kirsten was consumed by Murali Kartik while trying to cut the ball. He edged it for Azhar to come up with a good diving catch to his left at first slip.
Kirsten and Gibbs put on 104 runs in just 29.5 overs with both completing their half centuries alongwith Kallis, while Cullinan was unlucky to be dismissed for 43.
With the wicket starting to take slight turn and the ball also starting to keep low, Board President's XI have a good chance to restrict the South Africans to a manageable score on Sunday.