England could remove only the stubborn Peter Fulton before lunch 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.
But after James Anderson had Fulton fencing a catch to slip in the fifth over of the morning, the tourists could make no further headway as Kane Williamson (51no) helped New Zealand move from 77 for one to 153 for two.
Spots of rain before start of play relented, and under cloud cover England's pace attack had overhead conditions at least in their favour.
Following on 211 behind, however, the hosts were not ready to go quietly.