Pakistan hauled themselves back into the Test series against arch-rivals India with an impressive nine-wicket win in Lahore.
Akhtar took two wickets in one over
And fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar was relieved to get a good performance under his belt.
Shoaib took four wickets, including dismissing Virender Sehwag (90) and Irfan Pathan in the same over.
"The captain said, 'Just bowl three or four overs as quick as you can' and that worked for me," he said.
Shoaib and leg-spinner Danish Kaneria did the damage on Thursday, the youngster claiming 3-14 as India were bowled out for 241, leaving Pakistan needing only 40 to win to level the three-match series.
Shoaib said the experience of an innings defeat in the opening Test had worked in their favour.
"It was good bowling practice in Multan, we got our rhythm back," he added.
"This time we didn't give up runs, we kept it tight.
"I have bad days and good ones but I never stop learning."
Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq was delighted with his side's turnaround.
He said: "The team has shown lot of character and belief to come back
and win this match.
"We've been under pressure after losing the one-day series
3-2 and then losing the Test at Multan but the boys have worked
very hard to turn things around."
Pakistan coach Javed Miandad said it set up the decider, which starts in Rawalpindi on Tuesday, nicely.
Miandad said: "We have bounced back and now it rests on the final match.
"The batsmen did a good job and put runs on the board and the bowlers did their best and won the game for Pakistan.
"We didn't perform the way we should have done in the first game but in the second we respected our batting and if you score runs like that, the bowlers can do their job.
"Shoaib and Sami performed brilliantly."