Andrew Strauss scored a combative half-century as England reached 103 for one when bad light ended play on the second day of the second Test against South Africa at Kingsmead on Sunday.
Strauss's 54 eased England's blushes after a last-wicket stand of 56 from South Africa took them to 343 all out in their first innings.
The England left-hander's bold total came off 67 balls and included nine fours.
The frustrated South African attack eventually claimed Strauss's wicket in the fifth over after tea when Morne Morkel bowled him off the inside edge with a delivery that cut back.
Fellow opener Alastair Cook made a slow start but then blossomed to reach the close on 31 not out, while Jonathan Trott was not shy to play his strokes as he ended the day on 17.
Dale Steyn had scored an exuberant 47 as South Africa's first innings came to a rousing end.
Captain Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers scored top-class half-centuries after South Africa had won the toss and elected to bat on a lively pitch.
On a day which was played entirely under floodlights, Graeme Swann finished with four for 110 in 35 overs to take his year's haul to 49 wickets in 12 Tests, second only to Australia's Mitchell Johnson (58 in 13). But the off-spinner suffered heavy punishment from Steyn, who hit three sixes off him.
Seamer Jimmy Anderson was called into service and he had Steyn caught behind to end the innings 52 minutes after lunch.
De Villiers and Mark Boucher had resumed on Sunday morning on 175 for five.
The pair added another 58 runs before England used an umpire decision review to dismiss Boucher (39) after Swann had spun a delivery back into the his pads to trap him leg-before.
De Villiers reached his 19th test half-century but was dismissed for 50 before lunch caught behind by Matt Prior off Stuart Broad.
South Africa (first innings): 343 all out.
England (first innings): A Strauss b Morkel 54; A Cook not out 31; J Trott not out 17.
Extras: (nb-1) 1; Total: 103 for 1 (26.2 overs)
Fall of wickets: 1-71.
Bowling: Steyn 8.2-1-30-0, Ntini 3-0-25-0, Morkel 9-3-22-1, Kallis 2-0-12-0 (nb-1), Harris 4-0-14-0.