BIRMINGHAM: Debutant Zulqarnain Haider kept England at bay with a superb 88 as Pakistan at last restored some pride in the second Test at Edgbaston on Sunday.
Pakistan at the third dayís close, were 291 for nine, a lead of 112, and with an outside chance of pulling off what would be an astounding victory.
They would have been in an even better position, but England off-spinner Graeme Swann removed Zulqarnain shortly before stumps on his way to a Test-best haul of six wickets for 60 runs in 36 overs -- 20 of them maidens.
Pakistan had been dismissed for just 72 -- their lowest total against England - in the first innings, a woeful performance which made Sundayís fightback even more astonishing.
Zulqarnain and Saeed Ajmal put on 115 for the eighth wicket, with the recalled off-spinner making exactly 50 to give him Test-bests with both bat and ball this match after he took five for 82 in Englandís first innings 251.
Ajmal fell shortly before the close caught at slip by Paul Collingwood to end a gutsy 79-ball innings featuring seven fours Zulqarnain, who but for the Decision Review System (DRS) would have been out for a king pair, fell when he miscued a drive off Swann to England captain Andrew Strauss at mid-off.
The 24-year-old batted for four-and-a-half hours, facing 200 balls and struck 15 boundaries.
At the close, Swann had surpassed his previous best of five for 54 against South Africa at Durban in 2009 and taken five or more wickets eight times in his 22 Tests.
Umar Gul, batting with a runner after suffering a hamstring injury on Saturday, was nine not out, having smashed the last ball of the day from paceman Stuart Broad for four,and Mohammad Asif 13 not out.
Zulqarnain, in for the dropped Kamran Akmal, had come in at 82 for five.
At that stage, Pakistan needing 97 more runs just to avoid an innings defeat that would have left them 2-0 down in this four-match series after their crushing 354-run reverse in the first Test at Trent Bridge last week.
Zulqarnain received sound support from fast bowler Mohammad Aamer (16), who again demonstrated an excellent defensive technique, in a seventh-wicket stand of 52 spanning more than two hours.
England saw off Aamer in the fourth over with the new ball when Broad had him caught at first slip by Strauss.
Zulqarnain went to fifty when he clipped fast bowler Steven Finn through midwicket for a boundary that also meant England would have to bat again as Pakistan finally erased a first innings deficit of 179.
Then Zulqarnainís off-driven four off Swann meant heíd made the highest individual score by a Pakistan batsman this series, surpassing Gulís 65 not out at Trent Bridge.
Swann had gone two whole innings without bowling; such had been the dominance of England's seamers.
He came on with Pakistan 53 for one -- the first time this series the tourists had reached fifty without losing at least six wickets.
Swann bowled Imran Farhat with only his third ball of the match, a superb delivery that pitched outside the left-hander's leg stump and clipped the top of off.
Broad thought he had Zulqarnain, on 18, caught behind but umpire Marais Erasmus was unmoved, with England unsuccessfully referring the South Africanís not out verdict.
Broad should have dismissed Aamer on one when the 18-year-old was yards out of his ground. But his throw to the bowler's end was way over Swann's head.
He then hit Zulqarnain, on 22, with a petulant throw at the end of an over in an incident that could yet lead to Broad facing disciplinary action. ó AFP