Captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Younus Khan put on a century partnership to rescue Pakistan and leave the first Test against Zimbabwe in Harare finely poised.
The hosts had established a first-innings lead of 78 after posting 327 all out in the morning and Pakistan looked in serious trouble as they slumped to 23 for three early in the afternoon session.
But Misbah and Younus steadied the ship with a stand of 116 for the fourth wicket to help guide the tourists to 168 for four and a lead of 90.
Zimbabwe have not beaten an established full-member nation in the Test arena since their four-wicket success over India 12 years ago but were giving themselves more than a fighting chance of victory in Harare.
The home side began day three on 281 for seven, a lead of 32, and made steady progress through the first hour.
Elton Chigumbura soon brought up a half-century but Shingi Masakadza was then lbw to be Saeed Ajmal, who returned 7-95. Ajmal quickly had two more as Chigumbura fell to a close catch on 69 and Tendai Chatara edged to second slip for a golden duck to end the innings.
Tinashe Panyangara trapped Khurram Manzoor and Azhar Ali lbw early in the reply and when Mohammad Hafeez lofted a drive to extra-cover off Tendai Chatara the tourists were in trouble.
Younus and Misbah, the most experienced members of the side, eschewed risk in their steady alliance.
Zimbabwe were getting frustrated and saw a couple of tight stumping decisions go against them before Misbah, on 52, tried to drive Masakadza but could only loop the ball up to cover.
That brought Asad Shafiq to the crease and he was on 15 at the close, with Younus finishing the day unbeaten on 76.