Three wickets in as many balls turned the second Test in South Africa’s favour as the hosts ripped through Pakistan’s batting on the fourth morning to leave the tourists on 157 for eight a Lunch at Newlands on Sunday.
Pakistan have an overall lead of 169 but with just two second innings wickets remaining, are some way short of setting the home side a decent target as they seek to level the three-match series at 1-1.
South Africa were a bowler short when Morne Morkel failed to take the field after straining his hamstring earlier in he innings for the second time in the match.
With the Proteas reluctant to give Jacques Kallis a heavy workload with the ball, it meant a prolonged spell in the morning session for off-spinner Robin Peterson, with pacemen Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander operating from the opposite end.
Pakistan resumed on 100 for three with skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and Azhar Ali adding just 14 runs before the first wicket fell.
Misbah attempted a poorly executed sweep off Peterson and sent a top-edge flying to Graeme Smith at leg slip, the batsman departing for a patient 44.
Asad Shafiq (19) was next to go, unlucky to see the ball bounce onto the stumps after it looped up following his back-foot defensive shot off Philander.
Then came the collapse that rocked Pakistan. Sarfraz Ahmed (five) left a Peterson delivery that turned out of the leg-side rough and cannoned into his stumps.
It was the last ball of Peterson’s over, with Philander taking up the attack from the other end and getting wickets with his first two balls of the over.
Ali had reached his 14th Test half-century when he edged to wicketkeeper AB de Villiers for 65, and Umar Gul lasted just one delivery as he was brilliantly caught by a diving Alviro Petersen at third slip for a duck.
All three wickets fell with the score on 152.
Saeed Ajmal (four) managed to survive the hat-trick ball and will resume after the interval with Tanvir Ahmed (one).
The new ball, which has done so much damage in this Test series, is due in 10 overs.
South Africa romped to a 211-run victory in the first Test in Johannesburg last week and after the conclusion of this match, the teams will head to Centurion for the third Test starting on February 22.
Brief Scores: Pakistan 338 & 157 for 8 (Azhar Ali 65; Misbah-ul Haq 44; Dale Steyn 2 for 24, Vernon Philander 4 for 40) lead South Africa 326 (Robin Peterson 84, AB de Villiers 61*; Saeed Ajmal 6 for 96, Mohammad Irfan 3 for 86) by 169 runs