A maiden international century from Khurram Manzoor gave Pakistan scope for a significant first-innings lead over top-ranked South Africa at Abu Dhabi.
Manzoor’s unbeaten 131 ushered Misbah-ul-Haq’s side to 263 for three after two days, 14 ahead of the Proteas - who may rue their first batting effort in the two-Test series.
Manzoor and Shan Masood, Pakistan’s sixth different opening combination in seven Tests, shared their country’s maiden first-wicket hundred partnership since January 2012.
Then, Pakistan went on to whitewash number-one ranked England, also in the United Arab Emirates. They have much work ahead to do the same to South Africa, let alone win this Test, but Manzoor has set them on their way.
The 27-year-old right-hander, playing in his 10th Test having also featured in seven one-day internationals, put on 135 with international debutant Masood until the left-hander was lbw to JP Duminy for 75. He reviewed too late, but it would have made no difference.
A lazy shot from Azhar Ali saw him caught behind off Vernon Philander and a Morne Morkel snorter had Younus Khan held at gully, yet Misbah contributed 44 to an unbroken 85 alongside Manzoor.
Hashim Amla could not add to his overnight 118, poking the day’s second ball to second slip to give Mohammad Irfan a third wicket. Dale Steyn was soon stumped off Saeed Ajmal’s doosra to leave South Africa out for 249 after winning the toss.