South Africa may have been looking to amass a huge total after getting to a strong position on Day 1 of the first test, but Pakistan had other ideas at the start of Day 2. Speedster Umar Gul got an almost immediate breakthrough, sending back Paul Harris for a duck. He followed up that wicket with two more strikes, first removing AB de Villiers for 5 and then dismissing Ashwell Prince for 1. He had pegged back the Proteas who were going to find it difficult to recover.
Bouncher was the next to go for 9 when Abdur Rehman got him lbw. The ever-steady Kallis departed soon after when Saeed Ajmal got him caught behind. Then Botha was able to manage just 10 before he was out bowled to Rehman, and a short while later, Ajmal got a stubborn Morkel out for the same score with Steyn stranded on 10 as well. In a little over 30 overs, South Africa had lost 7 wickets for under 70 runs.
The Pakistanis had a spring in their step as was evident in the batting of their opening pair - Mohammad Hafeez and Taufeeq Umar. After batting himself in, Umar dispatched Morkel for two consecutive fours in the 6th over. Hafeez did the same to Steyn in the 9th over when it was clear both batsmen were gathering momentum to take the innings forward.
The duo had taken their stand past 50 in that over itself. They pressed on, taking the ones and twos although boundaries were harder to come by. In the 32nd over, the openers had taken the score past the 100 run mark. A couple of overs later, Paul Harris broke the partnership when Hafeez who was trying to clear mid-on, scooped a flighted delivery straight to Graeme Smith who took the catch without any problems. Hafeez was out for a well-made 60 and Pakistan were 105/1.
It seems Taufeeq had lost his magic combination and was soon out, lbw to Morkel for 42 with Pakistan 111/2. Azhar Ali and Younis Khan were the two relatively new batsmen out in the middle. But they played themselves in and batted confidently to take Pakistan to 144/2 in 55 overs with Khan not out on 20 and Ali unbeaten on 12. Pakistan had fought back admirably to even the contest with South Africa.