New Zealand was eyeing a vital lead in the second test as it exposed Pakistan's tail for the first time in the series despite Azhar Ali and Younis Khan scoring half centuries on Wednesday.
New Zealand made a strong comeback in the last session on day three to claim three wickets and restrict Pakistan to 281-6 to still trail by 122 runs.
Sarfraz Ahmed was 28 not out and No. 8 batsman Yasir Shah was on 1 at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Fast bowler Trent Boult earned immediate success with the new ball when captain Misbah-ul-Haq (23) prodded at an outswinger and sent a thick outside edge to first slip.
Legspinner Ish Sodhi (2-65) then ended Ali's nearly 5 1/2-hour defiant knock of 75 off 225 balls when he clean bowled him with a quicker delivery.
Asad Shafiq (44) was bowled by Boult off a no-ball when on 21, but added 59 runs with Ahmed before he fell in the penultimate over, giving fast bowler Tim Southee his first wicket of the series.
Khan, who scored four centuries in the previous three tests, was out for 72 playing a loose drive off medium-pacer James Neesham in the second session after denying New Zealand success for well over three hours.
Khan put on 113 runs with Ali before Neesham struck in his second over as New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum persisted with his seamers in defense of their first-innings total of 403.
Earlier, resuming the day at 34-2, Khan and Ali dominated the spinners and took Pakistan to 118-2 at lunch with Khan reaching his half century in the last over.
Khan blunted New Zealand's spinners with aggressive batting at the same Dubai venue where he scored test centuries in two innings against Australia last month.
He reached 50 by dispatching Mark Craig's delivery to the long-on boundary in the last over before lunch as the offspinner conceded five sixes on day three.
New Zealand hoped to build on its momentum after its spinners removed both Pakistan opening batsmen cheaply late Tuesday. But Khan and Ali were in no mood to be tied down, and combined for 50 runs in the first hour.
Khan twice lofted Craig on the legside for big sixes, and Ali smashed Corey Anderson for two fours in one over, causing the left-arm fast bowler to be taken out of the attack after just two overs.
With Sodhi and Craig failing to trouble Khan and Ali in the first session, McCullum deployed his four seamers after the break, which slowed down Pakistan's progress. Ultimately, Khan chased Neesham's wide delivery and was caught low by Craig in the covers. Khan faced 160 balls, hitting seven fours and the two sixes.
Ali remained composed and reached his half century off 150 balls with five fours, as he added 40 runs with Misbah before Pakistan lost momentum in the last session and lost three wickets for 99 runs.
Pakistan leads the three-match series 1-0 after an emphatic 248-run victory in the first test last week.