South Africa won the toss in the opening Test in Karachi at the National Stadium and opted to bat first.
Pakistan started with two debutants: opener Imran Butt and spinner Nauman Ali.
South Africa were going to go with a spin trio but Tabraiz Shamsi suffered back spasm prior to the start of the match and had to be replaced by Lungi Ngidi.
The tourists lost their first wicket at the score of 30 when Shaheen Afridi had Aiden Markram caught in second slip. Debutant Butt took an outstanding catch to get his Test career going.
The second wicket was a run out when Rassie van der Dussen succumbed to a mix-up, leaving the score 63-2.
By lunch, South Africa were 94-2, with Dean Elgar and Faf du Plessis at the crease.
The Proteas lose their third wicket soon after lunch as Yasir Shah spun the ball a long way, producing an edge against Faf du Plessis, with the excellent Mohammad Rizwan doing the rest behind the wickets.
The other debutant Nauman picked up his first wicket (133-4), removing Quinton de Kock, with the catcher being Butt again.
Nauman struck again a little later, removing Elgar (58) and picking his second wicket (136-5).
Temba Bavuma and George Linde formed a 43-run partnership but just when it seemed the foundation was formed, Hasan Ali's great bit of fielding and rocket of a throw got Pakistan rid of Bavuma (17), leaving the score 179-6.
Soon after, tea was taken.
Post-tea, South Africa lost their 7th wicket for the addition of zero runs. Shah beating Keshav Maharaj with the flight and disturbing his stumps.
Linde (35), having done the hard work, threw away his wicket, pulling Hasan Ali and getting caught by Mohammad Nawaz to leave his side 194-8.
The 9th wicket came a run later, when Shah struck again, bowling out Anrich Nortje.
Afridi picked up the final wicket as the entire South African line-up was skittled for 220.
Pakistan, like South Africa, were dealt an early blow as Abid Ali (4) was beaten for pace and bowled out by Kagiso Rabada.
The African pacer also picked up the wicket of Butt, who could score just nine runs on debut.
Babar Azam failed on his return from injury, getting trapped in front of the wickets against Keshav Maharaj. It forced Pakistan to send in nightwatchman Shaheen Afridi.
But Afridi was unable to last the day, as Anrich Nortje bowled him out for a duck and got his revenge while the scorecard read 27-4.
At the end of day's play, Pakistan were 33-4 with Azhar Ali and Fawad Alam at the crease, trailing the tourists by 187 runs.
South Africa XI 1. Aiden Markram 2. Dean Elgar 3. Faf du Plessis 4. Rassie van der Dussen 5. Temba Bavuma 6. Quinton de Kock (capt, wk), 7. George Linde 8. Keshav Maharaj 9. Kagiso Rabada 10. Anrich Nortje 11. Lungi Ngidi
Pakistan XI 1. Abid Ali 2. Imran Butt (debut) 3. Azhar Ali 4. Babar Azam (capt) 5. Fawad Alam 6. Mohammad Rizwan (wk) 7. Faheem Ashraf 8. Hassan Ali 9. Nouman Ali (debut) 10. Yasir Shah 11. Shaheen Afridi