Pakistan’s openers contributed to the team’s 181 runs without loss in response to England’s massive 657 in the first Test in Rawalpindi on Friday.
Imam-ul-Haq (90) and Abdullah Shafique (89) were close to scoring hundreds at the end of day two when the umpires called stumps with 17 overs left.
277 runs are still necessary for the home team to avoid the follow-on.
The England attack, led by James Anderson, struggled in a similar way to how the host team did as the wicket once more proved unresponsive to bowlers.
Shafique was fortunate to survive an Ollie Pope rising delivery and a confident caught-behind appeal. The umpire Joel Wilson gave a gentle signal for out but Marais Erasmus, the television official, overruled it.
Haq pushed spinner Jack Leach for two to reach 1,000 runs in his 17th Test. Haq had previously struck a century in each of his two innings on the same pitch in a Test match against Australia in March.
In his eighth Test, Shafique, who also struck a hundred against Australia in the March match, hit two boundaries to achieve his fifth half-century.
Harry Brook raised his overnight total of 101 to 153, one of four centurions in the innings, while England earlier added 151 runs in 125 minutes after resuming at 506-4.