But unlike India, who refused to blame the surfaces for their 2-1 defeat a year ago, Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur was particularly critical this past week.
South Africa have won all three previous Tests against Pakistan at Newlands and have only lost four times in 24 matches against the sub-continent side at all venues.
Duanne Olivier followed up a match-winning performance in the first Test in Centurion by taking four for 48, while Dale Steyn took three for 48.
Du Plessis was previously found guilty of what the International Cricket Council, in announcing the ban, described as a "minor over-rate offence" after the second Test against India in Centurion in January past year.
South Africa have been dominating the Test series against Pakistan.
Malekutu said the selectors would make a decision "in the next few days" regarding a replacement for Du Plessis in the squad.More news: IRS won’t issue tax refunds during government shutdown
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Amla had tried to get forward to a delivery that was just back of a length, but the ball spat up and crashed into his right bicep. "We know if we get runs on the board, our bowlers will do the rest". In two Test matches in a row now on tough pitches he has scored runs, and it shows you that it is possible if you apply yourself mentally and you have a technique. The third and final Test starts in Johannesburg on Friday.
"With South Africa, particularly when you play a subcontinent team, you're always going to ask for bounce and pace".
"Our bowling was not up to the mark", said Sarfraz.
Amir went on to pick four wickets in the first innings.
"The difference is that South Africa bowled at 145 (kilometres an hour) plus and we were at 135 today".
Sarfraz acknowledged that a single warm-up game had not been enough to prepare Pakistan for South African conditions but he took heart from the second innings in which Shan Masood, Asad Shafiq and Babar Azam scored impressive half-centuries. "I do think the wickets have got significantly worse since I coached in 2010".
Hashim Amla then retired hurt after a bouncer rose into him steeply to strike him on the inside of his bicep.