But the Scot lifted his team-mates after replacing Andy Wilkinson, who suffered a first half head injury, in what was the former Blackpool player's first taste of Premier League action since March.
With the scores locked at 2-2, Adam thought he had scored a late winner with a deflected free-kick, which clipped Gary Caldwell, only for Al Habsi to produce a full stretch stop.
The Wigan keeper had become a father for the second time overnight, but the Oman international was alert to frustrate Adam.
Stoke's last Premier League win
Despite a battling point, Stoke have now gone nine Premier League games without a win, their last top-flight success coming against relegated Wolves at the Britannia Stadium on 7 April.
It would have been harsh on the Latics had Adam scored.
Wigan enjoyed plenty of possession and twice led only to be pegged back by a spirited Stoke side who restored some much needed pride after a surprise midweek League Cup exit
at the hands of Swindon.
The Latics were gifted a fifth-minute lead when Huth handled James McCarthy's fierce drive, former Celtic player Maloney taking full advantage from the penalty spot to score his fourth goal in 16 Premier League appearances for the club.
Roberto Martinez's team were the better side before the break, Stoke only coming to life after Adam replaced Wilkinson in the 36th minute.
By then the Latics should have doubled their lead, Arouna Kone squandering a great opportunity from close range after Emmerson Boyce had hooked Di Santo's centre across the six-yard area.
Wigan showed character - Martinez
It proved a costly miss as Stoke levelled in the 40th minute, Walters scoring from the spot after referee Martin Atkinson had adjudged Figueroa of handling the ball inside his own area.
Having been comfortable for long periods of the half, Wigan went in at the interval fortunate to be still on level terms after Marc Wilson rattled the bar from 20-yards.
Yet Stoke's momentum was banished by Di Santo's exquisite 49th-minute finish, the Argentine picking his spot from just inside the area after Kone had done well to hold up possession while under pressure.
Stoke, however, refused to lie down and secured a hard-earned point when Crouch scored his second goal in nine Premier League matches after meeting Walters' cross six-yards out.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez:
"I think the best compliment you can say [regarding Al Habsi's late save] is that we are not surprised any more.
"Ali keeps producing this level. Since he arrived at the DW Stadium he has become a bit of a hero and that is why - because when you really need him, he is always there.
"We started really brightly and got the goal we deserved, but then you are looking at the manner in which the game opened up and it could have gone either way."
Stoke manager Tony Pulis:
"It was touch and go whether I started him [Charlie Adam] or not.
"When he came on I thought the game had opened up a bit, and he is a good passer of the ball.
"They are away now for internationals which is disappointing for all of us, but hopefully he will get bedded in to what we want to do and the way we want to use him, and he will be a great asset for the football club."
Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.
The ball is sent over by James McCarthy, Marc Wilson manages to make a clearance.
Arouna Kone fouled by Glenn Whelan, the ref awards a free kick. Ben Watson takes the free kick.
Marc Wilson produces a cross, clearance by Ivan Ramis.
Cameron Jerome fouled by Gary Caldwell, the ref awards a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Glenn Whelan.
Arouna Kone is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
James McCarthy delivers the ball, clearance made by Marc Wilson.
Close range effort by Cameron Jerome clears the crossbar.
Emmerson Boyce sends in a cross, save made by Asmir Begovic.
Cameron Jerome takes a shot. Save made by Ali Al Habsi. Peter Crouch takes a shot. Gary Caldwell gets a block in. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Glenn Whelan by James McCarthy. Shot on goal comes in from Charlie Adam from the free kick, brilliant save by Ali Al Habsi. Effort from inside the six-yard box by Cameron Jerome goes wide left of the target.
Ben Watson produces a cross.
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by David Jones played to the near post, clearance made by Glenn Whelan.
Substitution Ryo Miyaichi joins the action as a substitute, replacing Franco Di Santo.
Effort from the edge of the area by Arouna Kone goes wide of the left-hand post.
Unfair challenge on James McCarthy by Cameron Jerome results in a free kick. James McCarthy takes the indirect free kick. Free kick awarded for a foul by Ryan Shawcross on Franco Di Santo. Indirect free kick taken by James McCarthy.
Substitution James McArthur goes off and Ben Watson comes on.
Jonathan Walters provided the assist for the goal.
75:29 Goal scored
Goal! - Peter Crouch - Wigan 2 - 2 Stoke Peter Crouch finds the net with a headed goal from close range. Wigan 2-2 Stoke.
Substitution Cameron Jerome comes on in place of Michael Kightly.
Shot from close range by Jonathan Walters clears the bar.
Michael Kightly is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.
Michael Kightly takes a shot. Save by Ali Al Habsi.
Unfair challenge on Michael Kightly by Emmerson Boyce results in a free kick. Asmir Begovic restarts play with the free kick.
The ball is delivered by Marc Wilson, Ali Al Habsi makes a save.
James McCarthy fouled by Michael Kightly, the ref awards a free kick. James McCarthy takes the free kick.
Shaun Maloney takes a shot. Robert Huth gets a block in. Emmerson Boyce has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the target.
David Jones takes a shot. Blocked by Dean Whitehead.
Peter Crouch is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Gary Caldwell takes the free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Charlie Adam on Shaun Maloney. Free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.
The ball is delivered by Michael Kightly, Ali Al Habsi makes a comfortable save.
Centre by Marc Wilson, Effort from deep inside the area by Geoff Cameron misses to the right of the target.
Marc Wilson sends in a cross, clearance by Maynor Figueroa.
Unfair challenge on Ryan Shawcross by Arouna Kone results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Glenn Whelan.
Geoff Cameron produces a cross, Gary Caldwell makes a clearance.
Free kick taken by Charlie Adam. The ball is delivered by Charlie Adam. The referee blows for offside. Ali Al Habsi restarts play with the free kick.
Booking James McArthur receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.
Free kick awarded for a foul by James McArthur on Charlie Adam.
Michael Kightly takes a shot. Ali Al Habsi makes a comfortable save.
Gary Caldwell takes the free kick.
Booking Dean Whitehead is cautioned.
Foul by Dean Whitehead on James McCarthy, free kick awarded.
Assist on the goal came from Arouna Kone.
48:35 Goal scored
Goal! - Franco Di Santo - Wigan 2 - 1 Stoke Goal scored by Franco Di Santo from inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Wigan 2-1 Stoke.
Inswinging corner taken by David Jones, Emmerson Boyce takes a shot. Asmir Begovic makes a save. Gary Caldwell gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jonathan Walters. The ball is crossed by Glenn Whelan,
The referee gets the second half underway.
45:00 +2:16 Half time
Half Time The referee calls an end to the first half.
The ball is delivered by James McArthur. A cross is delivered by Emmerson Boyce, save by Asmir Begovic.
The ball is crossed by David Jones, Ryan Shawcross manages to make a clearance.
Booking Marc Wilson booked for unsporting behaviour.
Jonathan Walters sends in a cross, clearance by Gary Caldwell. Marc Wilson takes a shot. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Glenn Whelan, Marc Wilson has a header from close in and clears the crossbar. Blocked by Gary Caldwell.
Franco Di Santo produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the target.
Peter Crouch provided the assist for the goal.
39:52 Goal scored
Goal! - Jonathan Walters - Wigan 1 - 1 Stoke Penalty taken right-footed by Jonathan Walters and scored. Wigan 1-1 Stoke.
The referee penalises Maynor Figueroa for handball.
The offside flag is raised against Dean Whitehead. Ali Al Habsi takes the free kick.
Maynor Figueroa gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dean Whitehead. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Charlie Adam, Franco Di Santo makes a clearance.
Free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.
Substitution Charlie Adam on for Andy Wilkinson.
Jonathan Walters sends in a cross, clearance made by Gary Caldwell. Glenn Whelan concedes a free kick for a foul on James McArthur.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Arouna Kone on Robert Huth. Indirect free kick taken by Geoff Cameron.
Peter Crouch concedes a free kick for a foul on Gary Caldwell. Ali Al Habsi takes the indirect free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by James McArthur on Jonathan Walters. Ryan Shawcross takes the free kick.
Effort from outside the penalty box by Geoff Cameron goes wide right of the goal.
James McCarthy challenges Jonathan Walters unfairly and gives away a free kick. Glenn Whelan sends in a cross, Robert Huth takes a shot. Save by Ali Al Habsi. Peter Crouch challenges Ali Al Habsi unfairly and gives away a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Ali Al Habsi.
Substitution (Wigan) makes a substitution, with David Jones coming on for Jean Beausejour.
Emmerson Boyce crosses the ball, Asmir Begovic makes a save.
Franco Di Santo produces a cross, save by Asmir Begovic.
Unfair challenge on Emmerson Boyce by Marc Wilson results in a free kick. Ivan Ramis takes the indirect free kick.
Shot from 35 yards by Marc Wilson went wide of the left-hand upright.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Maynor Figueroa on Peter Crouch. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Glenn Whelan, clearance by James McArthur.
The ball is swung over by Jonathan Walters, clearance by Gary Caldwell.
The ball is swung over by Emmerson Boyce, free kick awarded for a foul by Franco Di Santo on Robert Huth. Asmir Begovic restarts play with the free kick.
The ball is sent over by Michael Kightly, clearance made by Gary Caldwell.
Foul by James McArthur on Peter Crouch, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Glenn Whelan.
Effort from outside the penalty area by James McCarthy goes wide left of the target.
Peter Crouch is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.
The referee penalises Maynor Figueroa for handball. Free kick crossed by Glenn Whelan, Ivan Ramis makes a clearance.
The assist for the goal came from James McArthur.
4:38 Goal scored
Goal! - Shaun Maloney - Wigan 1 - 0 Stoke Penalty taken right-footed by Shaun Maloney and scored. Wigan 1-0 Stoke.
James McArthur takes a shot. Robert Huth is penalised for a handball.
The ball is swung over by Dean Whitehead, Gary Caldwell makes a clearance.
Dean Whitehead concedes a free kick for a foul on Jean Beausejour. Free kick taken by Jean Beausejour.
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