After appearing down and out after heavy losses in the first two Tests, Pakistan now have a chance to square the four-match series at Lord's next week after drawing 1-1 with Australia earlier in the season.
Graeme Swann, who took four wickets in Pakistan's first innings, was again the mainstay of the attack when he was asked to bowl from the Vauxhall end after five overs of the new ball.
He bowled unchanged to take three for 50 from 18.4 overs.
Sensibly in view of an adverse weather forecast, Pakistan decided to attack from the start after Stuart Broad was dismissed for six in the opening over of the day.
Imran Farhat set the tone by slashing James Anderson's second ball over the slips for four on his way to his highest score of the series. He struck six boundaries before he was lbw to Swann for 33.
Captain Salman Butt, also short of runs this series, took over from Farhat with 48 in 64 balls, before he became Swann's second victim, 12 minutes before lunch.
Butt took three fours from a Broad over and two from Steven Finn, forcing Andrew Strauss to rotate his fast men from the Pavilion end.
Yousuf, playing his first Test since he was banned indefinitely after leading Pakistan on a spectacularly unsuccessful tour of Australia this year, was again an assured and elegant presence.
Yousuf, who scored 56 in the first innings, showed his class with a square drive for four off Broad and an elegant late cut to the boundary off Swann.
The most unpredictable and possibly the most talented team in the world have been condemned to play all their internationals abroad since the deadly militant attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in March last year.
Six players were banned or fined after the Australia tour and to compound their misery Pakistan's fielding was abject in the first two Tests against England.
The fielding was much improved at the Oval with wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, who has been dropped twice this year, taking eight catches.
But the victory was set up on Friday by Pakistan's two new talented international bowlers.
Left-armer Mohammad Amir, who finished on Saturday with his best Test figures of five for 52, made the ball reverse swing at high pace from around the wicket.
At the other end Saeed Ajmal bamboozled the England batsmen, who was unable to distinguish his doosra, Urdu for "the other one" which leaves the right-hander, from his off-spinner.
The upshot was six wickets for 26 runs and plenty to think about for an England side whose next task after Lord's is to defend the Ashes in Australia.