Pakistan's spinners were rampant as they reduced England to 39-4 at tea in the second test on Saturday, with the tourists needing another 106 to win and square the three-match series.
England had appeared in control, bowling out Pakistan for 214 in their second innings, but their top order again failed abjectly to deal with Pakistan's spinners.
Alastair Cook (7) was the first to go, caught and bowled by Mohammad Hafeez, who stooped to get his fingers to the ball inches from the turf.
Ian Bell (3) came in at number three in place of Jonathan Trott who had been off the field with a stomach complaint and the Warwickshire batsman lasted just three balls before deflecting a Saeed Ajmal delivery on to his stumps with an inside edge. England were 26-2 and reeling.
Kevin Pietersen (1) and Eoin Morgan (0) then continued their miserable form, falling to Abdur Rehman in the space of three balls. Pietersen was trapped lbw after lunging forward to defend, while Morgan saw his leg stump felled.
England's plight could have been even worse, with Andrew Strauss deflecting a Rehman delivery off his bat and pad to Azhar Ali at short leg.
Ali sunk to his knees to scoop the ball up before it hit the ground, but the third umpire thought otherwise, earning the England captain a reprieve.
Earlier, Monty Panesar bagged six wickets in his first test since 2009 as England thrived in the field, but their afternoon collapse was reminiscent of their first test woes in Dubai, when they slumped to 43-5 in their first innings and went on to lose by 10 wickets.
Pakistan play their home matches in the Gulf due to security problems at home.
(Reporting by Matt Smith, editing by Pritha Sarkar)