Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq put the blame for their defeat to South Africa on his "totally lost" batsmen.
Pakistan are all-but out of the Champions Trophy after a dispiriting 67-run to the Proteas, who posted 234-9 before bowling their opponents out for 167.
They were bowled out for 170 by the West Indies in their opening match and only an unlikely sequence of results would see them advance out of their group.
Misbah top-scored against the Windies and again against South Africa with 55, but even he was guilty of too much conservatism, only upping the scoring rate when it appeared to be too late.
But he did not pull his punches in an honest post-match assessment.
"The positive was the bowling, really we bowled very well, and the fielding is really improving, but as a batting unit you can say it's totally lost," Misbah said.
"It's the application of the batsmen. They are not applying themselves. It has been a really disappointing two games because the team could not score more than 170 on what looks like an Asian pitch.
"It is not working. The responsibility is with the players."
Most of the 24,000 crowd at Edgbaston were there to support Pakistan, and they did so raucously for most of the match, but late in the day some boos were heard too.
Misbah was philosophical: "Supporters are like that. This is how things are," he said.
"When you perform well everybody appreciates you; when you do this sort of performance they have the right (to boo)."
Hashim Amla took the man-of-the-match award for his 81 for South Africa, who were under pressure to win the game after losing their opener to the West Indies.
"After that first defeat, in this kind of competition you are pretty much under pressure to win the next two," Amla said.
"Fortunately we managed to get on the board today.
"That's the way the game goes, it's a fickle game. We didn't have (injured) Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel and any bowling attack without those guys would miss them. We know Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith are not here too but it's water under the bridge for us.
"We have new guys in the team and a new energy. A victory like this boosts everybody."