WHAT the Pakistan bowlers can do, their batsmen cannot and that is a pity for the mere reason that every time the bowlers bring them back into the game, they instead of consolidating on it become self-destructive and that is which we have been experiencing for some time.
The situation here is not much different because after being cheaply dismissed in the first innings they did manage to come back in a way through some heart-warming bowling by pacers Mohammad Amir and Shaheen Afridi who bowled superbly to bag four wickets each and Hasan Ali too who kept the South Africans at bay all the time to restrict their lead to 42.
That indeed was their prime performance with the ball in a situation in which they were stuck in.
But then again their inconsistency, lack of application and weaknesses against the rising ball on a pacey pitch began to play the part and brought them once again down on their knees.
Wonder what Pakistans batting coach Grant Flower has been up to so far?
And what his contribution has been to iron out the shortcomings of these batsmen who are unable to control their flashing blades on the deliveries which are outside their reach whether outside the off stump or the bouncing ones.
Every time I watch them my heart is in my throat knowing uncertain existence in the middle.
This not only breaks the heart of their bowlers who were able to fight back to even the honors but also of the Pakistan supporters who time and again are shortchanged and deprived of watching their team repeat the same blunders.
Any reliable batting line-up in the world should have been proud of the bowling attack that Pakistan have at their disposal but unfortunately not this lot who have a long way to go to improve their Test ranking, obviously not with this kind of display with the bat.
Imam-ul-Haq and Shan Masood did in a way tried to hold the fort with gutsy half-centuries but their charmed struggle in the middle with the bat always seemed unimpressive to be talked about.
This Test, like the one five years ago here, has continued to move on in a similar direction and that is with a tag attached well in favor of the home team as they need 149 for victory on day three.
While Pakistan has failed in both innings to control the outcome the South Africans despite their disappointing batting did remain in play with the help of their bowlers especially with Duanne Olivier who was the star of the show taking 11 wickets in the match.
Therefore, then there is not much excuse to be offered by Sarfraz Ahmed and his men because this has been alarmingly a heart-breaking performance for Pakistan supporters.
A capacity crowd on the first day and another yesterday have not had a type of contest that they might have expected in conditions so pleasant to watch a good game of cricket which on all accounts has turned out to be a disappointing one for the visitors.