For a long period the morning session was a face-saving excercise for the nominal hosts, and spinner Saeed Ajmal in particular, as they claimed the Proteas' final six wickets for 57 runs.
It was always likely to be in vain, with the Proteas reaching 517 all out in response to their opponents' paltry 99, and the loss of both openers for nought in 11 balls before the break simply confirmed it.
Neither of South Africa's overnight centurions kicked on, with both Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers adding just seven to their tallies.
De Villiers had 164 when he aimed a lavish drive at Mohammad Irfan only to be caught at the wicket by Adnan Akmal, ending a game defining fifth-wicket partnership with his captain on 338.
Smith was unable to build again with Faf du Plessis, falling soon after for 234 when he was held at slip pushing at an Ajmal tempter.
By then he had faced 388 deliveries and compiled the longest Test innings of the year.
Irfan and Ajmal exerted significant pressure on Du Plessis and JP Duminy and it paid off when the later departed after a tricky 28-ball stay.
Irfan was the successful bowler drawing Duminy forward and sneaking the ball between bat and pad to bowl him for seven.
Du Plessis hung aroung longer and brought up the team's 500 when he drilled Zulfiqar Bubar for four, in doing so confirming his side as only the fourth in history to register a first-innings lead of 400 over Pakistan.
But Ajmal returned to the attack after a rest and set about massaging his figures with some late wickets.
First was Vernon Philander, bowled through the gate, then Morne Morkel held at slip by Younus Khan.
That was Ajmal's fifth wicket and he ended with six for 151 when he took advantage of number 11 Imran Tahir's over-exuberance.
Pakistan had just two overs to bat out but lost both openers in that time to go in at two for two.
Shan Masood was pinnned lbw by Dale Steyn after just four balls of the innings and Philander sent Khurram Manzoor packing moments later thanks to Jacques Kallis' catch.