Jonathan Trott, fighting to preserve his place, anchored England's first innings on Thursday with a second consecutive home century on the opening day of the first Test against Bangladesh at Lord's.
Trott came to the crease after only 26 balls when Alastair Cook was dismissed for seven. He was still there at the end of the day with 175 beside his name after nearly six hours at the crease.
At the close, England were 362 for four after being asked to bat on a day which began under dark cloud cover and ended in sunshine, which had sapped any early life and lift from the pitch.
Trott scored 119 in the second innings of his Test debut at the Oval last year, a century which helped England regain the Ashes and earned him a spot on England's two off-season tours.
After a promising start in his native South Africa, the runs dried up and he subsequently struggled against the Bangladesh spinners in a two-match series.
England's decision to rest their successful Twenty20 captain Paul Collingwood to aid his recovery from an injured shoulder gave Trott a reprieve.
He took full advantage with some handsome drives, reaching his century with his 12th four, before he became becalmed for 60 balls during which he failed to find the boundary.
Andrew Strauss fell 17 short of a fifth Test century on the home ground of his county Middlesex after adding 181 for the second wicket with Trott.
Strauss, returning as captain after sitting out the Bangladesh tour, took 14 balls to get off the mark with a single.
His second scoring shot was a six over mid-wicket and he soon settled into a familiar rhythm with a century looking increasingly inevitable before he chopped a delivery from off-spinner Mahmudullah on to his stumps after reaching 83.
Strauss's dismissal signalled a Bangladesh revival after their bowlers had looked innocuous following a lively new ball spell by Shahadat Hossain.
Kevin Pietersen stroked three sumptuous boundaries before he was bowled off-stump by Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan for 18.
Ian Bell, who averaged 244 against Bangladesh before this series, was also bowled, for 17, when Rubel Hossain jagged a delivery sharply back down the slope from the Pavilion End.
Eoin Morgan, promoted to the Test side after his impressive form in the one-day arena, kept Trott company in an unbroken fifth-wicket partnership of 104.
He indulged himself in his favoured reverse sweep on the 27th ball of his innings to strike his first boundary in Test cricket but otherwise batted with restraint to reach 40 not out.
Earlier, Bangladesh batsman Imrul Kayes was forced to leave the field after he was struck on the helmet at short-leg by a fierce pull from Morgan.
England (1st innings):
A. Strauss b Mahmudullah 83
A. Cook lbw b Shahadat Hossain 7
J. Trott not out 175
K. Pietersen b Shakib Al Hasan 18
I. Bell b Rubel Hossain 17
E. Morgan not out 40
Extras: (lb-7, 10-nb, 5-w) 22
Total: (four wickets; 90 overs) 362
Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-188, 3-227, 4-258.
Bowling: Shahadat 17-2-66-1, Robiul 14-2-80-0, Shakib 19-1-71-1, Rubel 16-0-74-1, Mahmudullah 24-3-64-1.
Still to bat: Prior, Bresnan, Swann, Anderson, Finn.
Bangladesh: Kayes, Tamim, Siddique, Jahurul, Ashraful, Shakib, Rahim, Mahmudullah, Shahadat, Robiul, Rubel.