Pakistan and South Africa commenced battle in the first of a two-Test series in Abu Dhabi, knowing defeat would instantly end their chances of overall victory.
The world's leading Test side were made to pay the price for some poor batting on a decent pitch as Pakistan's spinners made the difference.
Here is the team news, toss details and session-by-session updates from the match.
A live, in-running scorecard can be found here on Cricinfo.
South Africa 249 & 232
Pakistan 442 & 45 for 3 (13.5 overs)
They made hard work of the job, but Pakistan eventually completed a seven-wicket victory over South Africa in the first Test on Thursday.
Requiring 40 runs to win, the hosts certainly did not threaten any records with the way they went about the chase, apart from—perhaps—the world's lowest score when they were reduced to 7 for three.
Vernon Philander had Shan Masood caught behind by AB de Villiers to start the mini-collapse, which continued when Dale Steyn outwitted Azhar Ali.
When Khurram Manzoor also fell to the Philander-de Villiers combination, concern was clear on the Pakistan pavilion.
Misbah-ul-Haq (28) and Younis Khan (9) eventually saw the team home, clinching victory with a six.
South Africa 249 & 232
A total of 40 runs is all Pakistan require to wrap up victory against South Africa on Day 4 of the first Test.
The hosts finally killed off the South African tail thanks to Saeed Ajmal, who took three wickets during the afternoon session.
Faf du Plessis saw another three runs added to the tourists' lunch total before he handed a return catch to the spinner, and then Junaid Khan removed AB de Villiers for 90 as South Africa's last established batsman tried to attack.
Ajmal picked up the wicket of Vernon Philander before registering another caught-and-bowled to claim Morne Morkel—ending the innings.
Pakistan will now emerge from tea with the simple job of completing an impressive victory.
South Africa 249 & 130 for 6 (55 overs)
AB de Villiers did his best to delay the inevitable by hitting a half-century during the first session of Day 4, but South Africa still reached lunch looking certain to taste defeat against Pakistan.
Trailing by 63 runs, the tourists will do well to even make Pakistan bat again in this Test match. They have four wickets with which to achieve that consolatory aim.
De Villers will be key. Set on 52 not out, South Africa will need him to make a big century to even have a chance of rescuing the match.
Faf du Plessis will resume alongside de Villiers on eight not out, having stubbornly seen off 47 balls so far.
Nightwatchman Dale Steyn (7) was the first batsman to depart on Thursday, misjudging the flight of Zulfiqar Babar's left-arm spin to leave his stumps exposed.
Junaid Khan then struck the legs of JP Duminy to remove the middle-order man for a duck, leaving South Africa on 109 for six.
Spin has been one of the decisive factors in the Test match, swinging it in favour of the hosts, who will surely polish off their rivals by the end of Day 4.
South Africa 249 & 72 for 4 (26 overs)
South Africa are heading for a heavy defeat in the first of their Two-Test series against Pakistan, after finishing Day 3 with a 121-run deficit.
Graeme Smith's men only have six wickets with which to rescue what is now a dire situation, after they failed with the bat for a second time on Wednesday.
They made the right type of start to the day's final session after tea, removing Pakistan's remaining batsmen for a total cost of 13 runs. Dale Steyn claimed the wickets of Adnan Akmal (32) and Junaid Khan (3), leaving South Africa with a 193-run deficit to close.
However, Akmal was instantly busy behind the stumps as Pakistan's bowlers turned the heat on their tourists, claiming two catches and a stumping.
Alviro Petersen departed for 17 off Mohammad Irfan before Smith was teased out of his crease by Ajmal. Jacques Kallis was out for a duck, making it five runs from two innings for the veteran.
The hammer blow was still to come as Hashim Amla, centurion from the first innings, also found Akmal's gloves off the bowling of Zulfiqar Babar to leave South Africa in dire straits.
AB de Villers (11 not out) and Steyn (0 not out) will attempt to rescue the situation on Thursday.
South Africa 249
Pakistan 429 for 8 (135.2 overs)
South Africa finally made some inroads into the Pakistan batting lineup during the second session of Day 3, but Misbah-ul-Haq's century was the highlight as he led his side on to 429 for eight.
Misbah made exactly 100, including eight fours, which goes some way to highlighting the intelligence of his innings. There were few thunderous blows to the boundary as he consistently picked holes in the field to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
Dale Steyn eventually trapped Misbah lbw, at which point Pakistan were 394 for six. Asad Shafiq had earlier fallen for 54 to JP Duminy.
Saeed Ajmal later departed to Vernon Philander, and tea was called after the second ball of the 136th over when Zulfiqar Babar was run out by Steyn.
Adnan Akmal and Junaid Khan will resume the final session, hoping to extend Pakistan's lead of 180.
South Africa 249
Pakistan 352 for 4 (112 overs)
Pakistan added 89 runs for the loss of a solitary wicket as they increased their lead on Day 3 of the first Test against South Africa.
Khurram Manzoor's magnificent innings finally came to an end after he made 146 to give Pakistan a fantastic platform. Manzoor set a new record by a Pakistan batsman against South Africa, surpassing Azhar Mahmood's previous best of 136, per Cricinfo.
Vernon Philander was the man to make the breakthrough, encouraging an outside edge through to Jacques Kallis at slip.
However, there was little else to encourage the tourists, who made little use of the new ball on a lifeless wicket.
Misbah-ul-Haq, arguably Pakistan's most in-form batsman, brought up his half-century early in the day and will resume on 78 not out. He has a well-set Asah Shafiq, who reached lunch on 40, for company.
The lead currently stands at 103 runs with six wickets remaining.
South Africa 249
Pakistan 263 for 3 (84 overs)
Pakistan finished Day 2 in Abu Dhabi leading South Africa by 14 runs with seven wickets still remaining, following a fine century from opener Khurram Manzoor.
The 27-year-old struck his first international ton to finish the day on 131 not out, scoring steadily at a strike rate of just over 50.
South Africa did manage to claim two wickets in the final session, AB de Villiers taking a low catch to dismiss Azhar Ali off the bowling of Vernon Philander for 11.
Younis Khan soon followed, with the veteran batsman scoring just one before he received a sharp, bouncing delivery from Morne Morkel—the pick of South Africa's bowlers—which he gloved to Alviro Petersen.
Misbah-ul-Haq helped steady the ship, though, scoring 44 runs before the close to see Pakistan into a first innings lead at the end of the day's play.
South Africa 249
Pakistan 155 for 1 (51 overs)
JP Duminy was the only South African to make a breakthrough as Pakistan's top order continued to defy recent form on Day 2 in Abu Dhabi.
Duminy denied Shan Masood a debut Test century when he trapped him lbw for 75. It ended a 135-run opening stand for the hosts.
Masood, after his nervy start, showed a full range of strokes in exchange for eight boundaries. Scoring at marginally better than a run every two balls, he suggested at a promising future in the game.
South Africa would have hoped Masood's removal would spark an avalanche of Pakistan wickets, but Azhar Ali merely dug in to make sure there were no more setbacks before tea.
He will resume on 7 not out, while Khurram Manzoor leads the way on 72 not out.
South Africa 249
Pakistan 77-0 (22 overs)
Pakistan finished the opening session of Day 2 in command after they required 19 balls to wrap up South Africa's innings upon resumption.
Hashim Amla, so imperious on Monday, fell to his second ball on Tuesday, caught in the slips off Mohammad Irfan without adding to his overnight score of 118. South Africa added four runs in total to reach 249 and then failed to respond with the ball.
Debutant Shan Masood looked every bit the rookie during the early stages of his innings, edging his first delivery safe before giving Jacques Kallis a chance that the veteran put down. It was the start of a man desperate to impress.
However, he eventually settled to put on an unbroken 77-run partnership with Khurram Manzoor before lunch—Pakistan's first half-century opening stand in over a year, per Cricinfo.
Manzoor looked more comfortable, particularly against Australia's spinners, and completed the session on 41 not out to hand Pakistan a solid foundation on which to build a match-winning position.
They trailed by 172 runs at lunch, with all 10 wickets still intact.
South Africa 245-8 (90 overs)
Zulfiqar Babar emerged from a slow start to his Test debut in order to rip through South Africa's middle-to-lower order, surely handing the first day's momentum to Pakistan.
Zulfiqar, making his first Test appearance at the age of 34, took three wickets in a six-over spell to damage the great work done by Hashim Amla, who finished the day unbeaten on 118.
South Africa appeared in control on 199 for four, with JP Duminy well set alongside Amla on 57. However, Duminy attempted one too many sweeps as he top-edged behind square to start the tourists' collapse.
Zulfiqar did his damage by bowling round the wicket, with Faf du Plessis next to depart for a solitary run as he edged to gully.
Robin Peterson was then done through the gate as Zulfiqar completed an electric session, but there was still time for Saeed Ajmal to trap Vernon Philander lbw for three.
Amla remains South Africa's chief form of resistance heading into Day 2, after he posted his 20th career Test century to reach stumps alongside Dale Steyn (13).
South Africa 152-4 (55 overs)
AB de Villiers was the only man to fall as South Africa rebuilt during the second session of the first day. They added 86 runs for the loss of one wicket between lunch and tea, meaning the final session will determine which side enters Day 2 on top.
De Villiers departed for 19 having never looked comfortable during his 76-ball stay. His dismissal came in crazy circumstances, run out after he held his pose for an extended period of time.
An initial lbw shout from Pakistan prompted de Villiers to hold his stride—with the aim of showing the umpire he was a long way forward. However, his back foot was not behind the line, allowing the hosts to run him out for gully.
Crucially for Graeme Smith's men, Hashim Amla remained at the crease on an unbeaten 71, which included eight boundaries. He looked solid and classy, as did JP Duminy who returns from tea on 36 not out.
Debutant Zulfiqar Babar was Pakistan's most expensive bowler, conceding 40 runs from 10 overs, but Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan and Saeed Ajmal have all worked hard to keep the run rate down.
South Africa 66-3 (26 overs)
South Africa failed to capitalise on the toss as they lost three wickets prior to lunch against Pakistan on Day 1 of the first Test in Abu Dhabi.
On a relatively batsmen-friendly wicket, openers Alviro Petersen and Graeme Smith both departed for a total of 19 runs to hand Pakistan an early boost.
Mohammad Irfan took both scalps, finding some extra bounce to remove Petersen before having Smith caught behind.
The South Africa captain had looked rusty prior to that moment, so it brought some calm to the innings when Hashim Amla arrived at the crease. He put on an unbeaten 30 alongside AB de Villiers (11).
Jacques Kallis was the other man to depart, making five before Junaid Khan found an inside edge.
South Africa skipper Graeme Smith won the toss and opted to bat first in Abu Dhabi.
There was only one significant piece of team news for South Africa, who welcomed back batsman JP Duminy.
Pakistan handed debuts to opening batsman Shan Masood and left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar, but Abdur Rehman missed out due to a back complaint.
The pitch, per Cricinfo, was mostly dry and primed for heavy scores.