Pakistan were 77-0 at lunch in a solid start to their first innings after bowling out South Africa early on the second day of the first Test in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
Khurram Manzoor was unbeaten on 41 and with him debutant Shan Masood was on a confident 36 as Pakistan trail South Africa's first innings total of 249 by 172 runs.
Both Pakistani openers negotiated a four-pronged South African pace attack without any trouble on a Sheikh Zayed Stadium pitch which had little on offer for the fast bowlers.
Khurram, playing his tenth Test, has so far hit four boundaries while Masood, a prolific scorer in Pakistan's domestic matches, has also hit as many boundaries.
Masood then took the score past 50 to help Pakistan to their first half-century opening stand in 13 innings as they have long struggled to find a reliable opening pair. The Masood-Khurram pairing is Pakistan's sixth in the last seven Tests.
Earlier, Mohammad Irfan (3-44) dismissed centurion Hashim Amla off the second ball of the day after South Africa had resumed at 245-8.
Amla, who made 118, edged a sharp Irfan delivery straight into the hands of slip where Younis Khan held a regulation catch. He hit 13 boundaries off 252 balls and anchored the South African innings on Monday.
With the catch Younis equalled Javed Miandad's all-time Test catches record for Pakistan with 93. Miandad reached the tally in 124 Tests but Younis was quicker in 85 matches.
Debutant left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar took 3-89 while Saeed Ajmal had figures of 2-59.