Opener Mohammad Hafeez made a brave unbeaten 97 to lift Pakistan to 146 for three, 74 runs ahead of England at the close on a tense third day of the final Test in Sharjah on Tuesday.
England claimed a 72-run first-innings lead to push for a series-levelling victory but Hafeez and Azhar Ali shared an opening partnership of 101 to bring the hosts back into the match.
Ali was farcically run out for 34, James Anderson trapped Shoaib Malik lbw for nought and Stuart Broad dismissed Younus Khan for 14 in the final session to give England hope after they had been bowled out for 306 soon after lunch.
Jonny Bairstow (43) and Samit Patel (42) contributed useful cameos while Ben Stokes came out to bat despite a broken collarbone before being the last man out.
Hafeez, on two, was given out caught behind off Anderson but the opener immediately reviewed the decision and got it overturned.
After adding nine more runs to his score, the right-hander edged Moeen Ali but wicketkeeper Bairstow could not pouch the deflection.
Earlier, England lost three wickets on the third morning after resuming on 222-4.
The visitors' hopes of forging a big first innings advantage on the Sharjah Cricket Stadium's slow surface suffered a double blow when they lost both their overnight batsmen early.
James Taylor (76) added just two runs before he edged left-arm paceman Rahat Ali behind for wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed to complete a low one-handed diving catch to his right.
Taylor's dismissal ended a resolute stand of 89 and Bairstow soon followed him back to the pavilion after he failed to read an arm ball from left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar and was bowled.
Patel, who passed his previous Test best score of 33, and Adil Rashid offered resistance, forcing captain Misbah-ul-Haq to call on part-time off-spinner Malik.
He repaid his captain's trust by dismissing Rashid in his second over of the day with Ali completing a sharp, low catch at short leg.
Malik went on to dismiss Anderson and Stokes to claim Test best figures of 4-33.
Stokes will not bowl again in the match.
"His injury will be reviewed in seven-to-10 days once it has had a chance to settle. A decision about his return to play will be taken at this time," the England and Wales Cricket Board said in a statement.
Image: Pakistan's Shoaib Malik (centre) celebrates with his teammates after taking the wicket of England's Adil Rashid on day three of the 3rd Test in Sharjah on Tuesday
Photograph: Jason O'Brien Livepic/Reuters