Opening batsman Neil McKenzie and nightwatchman Paul Harris frustrated the England bowlers on a rain-shortened second morning of the third Test against South Africa at Edgbaston on Thursday.
South Africa were 104 for two at lunch in reply to England's 231 all out with McKenzie unbeaten on 52.
It took England until 15 minutes before lunch to break the overnight stand, with Harris helping McKenzie add 77 for the second wicket.
Harris, who started batting Wednesday evening after the dismissal of South African captain Graeme Smith, batted for 89 minutes and faced 54 balls before he edged left-arm swing bowler Ryan Sidebottom to Alastair Cook after scoring 19.
McKenzie survived a referral to the television umpire when he had 29.
McKenzie edged Andrew Flintoff low to first slip. Andrew Strauss scooped up the ball but while his teammates celebrated he indicated he was not certain the ball had carried.
The decision was referred to television umpire Ian Gould who confirmed the ball had bounced as it reached the fielder.
McKenzie went on to reach his half-century shortly before lunch after facing 100 balls and hitting eight fours.
Rain delayed the start of play by 15 minutea and only 2.3 overs were bowled before the players had to go off for another 19 minutes. When play resumed it was under an overcast sky with the threat of further rain.