Misbah stood firm while all around him were either playing foolish shots or wilting in the face of some superb work in the field by the Proteas who were looking to salvage some pride at least after losing the one-day series.
Vernon Philander took three wickets for 26 runs off 10 overs with two apiece for Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Ryan McLaren and Imran Tahir.
South Africa won the toss and elected to field, a decision which was soon vindicated when Philander removed Ahmed Shehzad from just the sixth delivery of the day.
Philander's delivery was an outswinger which the opener did not need to attempt but he hit a weak drive to Hashim Amla at a comfortable height at first slip to be out for a duck with just two on the board.
Pakistan lost a second wicket with just five more on the board when Tsotsobe's delivery found some extra bounce which Asad Shafiq could only feather through to the wicketkeeper having made just one.
Sohaib Maqsood joined Umar Amin at the crease and the pair brought some stability, moving the score on to 48 when the latter was out, superbly caught high in the air by Amla from the bowling of McLaren.
The opener had made 25 including four boundaries and a six.
A further 19 had been added when Pakistan lost a fourth wicket, when Maqsood became McLaren's second victim when he tried to pull a short delivery but only hit it back into the air and the bowler dived to his right to take another superb catch.
Maqsood had made 25 off 39 deliveries including four boundaries.
Philander struck for the second time when Umar Akmal prodded at a short ball with De Kock leaping to his right to take a one-handed catch having made just five and leaving Pakistan on 85 for five.
South Africa were on fire and they took two wickets for two runs as Pakistan wobbled in the face of an onslaught.
Bilawal Bhatti was caught by Amla after pushing forward at Tahir's tossed-up delivery for just one with A nwar Ali next to go - lbw for one - after a review showed the ball had brushed the glove.
Pakistan were 97 for seven and in desperate need of a steadying hand which then came in the form of Misbah whose stand with Abdur Rehman shored the visitors up.
Misbah was dropped by Duminy when on 43 and he made the most of it with Rehman as they moved the score on to 148 when the latter was removed off the bowling of Tahir, Amla taking the catch after the batsman swung after reaching 22.
Sohail Tanvir made just six when he was unnecessarily out when he drove the ball straight to Wayne Parnell off Tsotsobe.
Misbah was fighting fire with fire though and he battered Tahir for two straight sixes before becoming last man standing when Saeed Ajmal went for a duck off Parnell.
Misbah's knock had come off 107 deliveries including four boundaries and two sixes.