Durban - Coming to the crease at two for nought, captain AB de Villiers did a repair job to help South Africa kick on to 234 for nine, in the fourth Momentum One Day Series match against Pakistan in Durban on Thursday.
He shared a vital 115-run stand with David Miller for the fifth wicket to lift the team to a reasonable total.
A dramatic start saw South Africa losing two wickets off the first two balls and the tallest man in cricket, Mohammad Irfan, on a hat-trick.
Hashim Amla, who made a century in the last game, played a loose shot to Irfan and got a healthy edge to the wicketkeeper. Kamran Akmal took an excellent catch, diving to his right in front of first slip.
In walked Colin Ingram, who scored a century in the first ODI and a duck in the second, only to be undone by the perfect yorker.
Irfan landed the ball in front of off-stump and it moved away to beat the outside edge and knock over the stumps, giving Ingram his second first-baller of the series.
The skipper fended off the hat-trick ball and, before long, had the scoreboard ticking over.
Graeme Smith and De Villiers added 34 runs for their 53-ball stand until Junaid Khan struck with a very clever piece of bowling.
He spotted Smith moving too far across and, aiming at leg stump, Junaid got it spot on, bowling the South African around his legs for 12.
At the end of the same over, Junaid found the inside edge of new batsman Farhaan Behardien’s bat to give Kamran Akmal another impressive catch, this time diving to his left.
Miller, in the side for injured Faf du Plessis, had his share of good fortune when he was dropped on nine. Imran Farhat fielding at short mid-wicket, misjudged the dolly and tried to take it with one hand, disappointing off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez.
Miller rode his luck and when he scored his first boundary, in the 16th over, it had been 55 minutes and 10 overs since the ball had last crossed the ropes off his bat.
Together with De Villiers, the pair batted together for 144 deliveries with Miller achieving his highest score in the 50-over game.
He was eventually out for 67, leg before to Saeed Ajmal, with his previous best being 59 against Australia in Port Elizabeth in October 2011.
De Villiers went on to make 75 and was not happy when he was given out, caught behind off Ajmal, but South Africa had already used their only appeal. There were two noises but it was hard to tell if the ball had made any contact with the bat.
Ryan McLaren’s innings (11) would be remembered for the way he went out. He lofted Ajmal to long-off where Irfan totally misjudged the catch.
As he turned away, the ball stuck in his left palm and he had to signal to his team-mates that he had actually caught the ball as everyone assumed he had missed it.
After castling Rory Kleinveldt (18), Irfan finished with three wickets for 46, while Ajmal bagged three for 42.
Three fours off the last over ruined Junaid’s excellent figures as he too grabbed three wickets at a cost of 45 runs.
South Africa: Graeme Smith,
Hashim Amla, Colin Ingram, AB de Villiers (capt/wk), David Miller,
Farhaan Behardien, Ryan McLaren, Robin Peterson, Rory Kleinveldt, Dale
Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
Pakistan: Imran Farhat, Mohammad
Hafeez, Younus Khan, Misbah-ul-Huq (capt), Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal
(wk), Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan, Mohammad