Pakistan were the happier of the two sides in Johannesburg on Friday, reaching stumps on day one of the first Test on six for nought after dismissing the South Africans for 253 just before the close.
Spinner Mohammad Hafeez was a machine with the new ball in the evening session, as he took four wickets to reduce the Proteas from 159 for four at tea to all out with two overs to go in the day. The only batsman to do anything decent was Jacques Kallis, and even he only got fifty.
After winning the toss, Graeme Smith, receiving ample applause from the crowd as he walked on for his 100th Test, had a torrid time against the fast bowlers, especially Junaid Khan, but managed to use up some birthday luck to make it past the first hour.
Alviro Petersen was more settled though, and while he took longer to get going, he picked up the pace after the first drinks break with consecutive boundaries. The Pakistan pacers were on target though, and were unlucky to go wicketless initially.
The pressure finally paid off for Junaid in the 19th over, when he got Petersen's wicket. The right-hander nudged at a wider one and got a thick outside edge, caught by Haffeez at third slip for 20.
This brought the silent assassin, Hashim Amla, to the middle to join his skipper, who was on 24. 'Biff' didn't get to add any more to his score though, as Umar Gul struck with the first ball of the next over to get Smith caught behind.
Amla was joined by Kallis, and if ever a pair was made to rescue a knock, this was it. Two of the calmest, most technical batsmen in world cricket set about their task, and Kallis got off the mark with a nifty flick off his pads for four. Amla also moved off the zero with a four, and the two added 22 runs to score before lunch was called with 25 overs gone.
After the interval Kallis picked up the pace and brought out his famous cover drive, crunching them to the ropes to bring up his 13 000the Test run for South Africa. He had over 13 000 overall, but those included some for the World XI.
The pair went at around five to the over for the first 10 after lunch, and Kallis brought up his 58th Test fifty, and eighth against Pakistan, off the final ball of the 39th over. Amla was on 28 at the time, playing a more cautious innings.
Kallis' knock was not to last much longer though, as Asad Shafiq took a superb diving catch in the outfield to send the big man packing, having used up 78 balls for his 50. The score was on 125 for three at that stage.
Amla was the next to fall, just 10 runs later, when he was caught at wide third slip off part-timer Younis Khan's bowling. The pitch continued to provide help for the bowlers, and AB de Villiers was joined by Faf du Plessis, who advanced the score to 159 at tea.
The duo continued for an hour, to within 10 overs of the new ball, before De Villiers succumbed to the spin of Hafeez. He was on 31 at the time, but Hafeez's first ball caught the outside edge and he was caught behind.
The sixth wicket to fall was certainly unlucky, as Du Plessis fell short of his half ton. He played a forward defensive to Junaid and the ball popped up, spinning backwards to softly knock the bails off. The score was on 232 for six at that stage.
Three runs later saw Hafeez bag his second, hitting the top of Robin Peterson's off stump for a duck. The Proteas were in the precarious position of not reaching 260, and with the new ball in hand it made for a tricky final eight overs.
Hafeez proved to be a massive hoodoo though, and added Dean Elgar's wicket to his records with the score on 240, the batsman catching the edge and Sarfraz doing the work behind the stumps.
Matters went from bad to worse as the tail-enders made a hash of running between the stumps. Vernon Philander found himself short of his ground when he and Dale Steyn failed to understand each other while running for a second, and they were nine down for 243.
Steyn added 12 more to the tally, but it was all over with 10 minutes to go in the day as Hafeez bowled Morne Morkel. That left SA all out for 253, and forced Pakistan to come out to bat for two overs.
South Africa: Graeme Smith, Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel.
Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan, Rahat Ali.