James Anderson removed the stubborn Peter Fulton, but there was no further progress for England in the first hour on day four of the second Test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve.
In what was likely to be a narrow window of opportunity before the remnants of Cyclone Sandra disrupt much of the rest of this match, England had no time to waste if they were going to go 1-0 up with one more Test remaining.
Spots of rain before start of play relented, and under cloud cover the tourists' pace attack had overhead conditions in their favour to try to bowl out the Kiwis but following on 211 behind, New Zealand did not appear ready to go quietly and reached 108 for two by the mid-point of the session.
Opener Fulton had used up 114 balls and was just five short his second half-century of the series when he succumbed, edging Anderson to slip off the back foot to end a stand of 56 with Kane Williamson.
A double-change from Anderson and Stuart Broad to Monty Panesar and Steven Finn brought no immediate reward as Williamson and Ross Taylor resisted without alarm on a pitch showing precious few signs of deterioration yet.
Panesar got two deliveries to turn sharply in his first over, and found the edge of Taylor's bat too but saw the ball fall just short and wide of slip.
Taylor also twice played and missed as he looked to attack Finn. But otherwise, there was minimal encouragement for England.