Babar Azam remained the linchpin for Pakistan, displaying composure at the crease. As wickets fell at the other end, the responsibility on Babar's shoulders grew.
However, even the Pakistan skipper couldn't escape the clutches of Tabraiz Shamsi, who sent him packing after a well-constructed fifty.
The middle order struggled to capitalize on their starts, and the burden on Babar was immense. A shaky phase from Iftikhar Ahmed further dampened Pakistan's prospects. With the score at 141/5, a sub-250 total loomed menacingly.
When things looked bleak for Pakistan, Saud Shakeel and Shadab Khan launched a counterattack, salvaging their team's innings with an 84-run partnership.
Both batters used their expertise against spin, particularly targeting Keshav Maharaj. However, Shamsi's crucial wicket of Shakeel halted Pakistan's resurgence.
Pakistan seemed on course to post a total in the range of 280-300, but the late-order collapse dashed their hopes. South Africa's bowlers remained resolute, wrapping up the lower order efficiently. In the end, Pakistan was bowled out with 20 deliveries still in hand, leaving room for improvement.
While Pakistan posted a respectable total of 270, they will rue not capitalizing on their strong response in middle overs, setting the stage for a thrilling contest as they faced South Africa's reply.">