Half-centuries from Jos Buttler, Ollie Pope and fit-again Joe Denly rescued England on day two of their warm-up game against New Zealand A in Whangarei.
The tourists, who resumed Saturday morning on 26-1, tumbled to 105-5, with Dom Sibley (14), nightwatchman Jack Leach (22), skipper Joe Root (2) and vice-captain Ben Stokes (3) dismissed.
However, Denly (68) - seemingly fully over the ankle knock that ruled him out of the recently-concluded T20I series against New Zealand - and Pope (88) then put on 90 for the sixth wicket before Pope and Buttler (88no) added 114 for the seventh as England surpassed New Zealand A's total of 302-6 declared and closed on 355-8 to lead by 53 runs with one day remaining.
Sibley was the first man out on day two, steering Blair Tickner to gully shortly after being struck on the grille by Kyle Jamieson, the bowler to have removed Rory Burns the previous evening.
Leach and Denly shared a third-wicket stand of 40 but the nightwatchman's dismissal, caught by Tickner off Daryl Mitchell, triggered a collapse of 3-12, with Root and Stokes out for single figures.
Root - who jarred his hip in the field on Friday - seemed to think he got an inside edge on the delivery when he was given out lbw to Mitchell, before Stokes clipped Jimmy Neesham to Mitchell at slip looking to leave the ball.
England trailed by 197 at that point but Denly - who survived a tight lbw shout third ball, was dropped on eight at gully and then almost run out on 46 - and Pope - reprieved on seven after snicking behind with Scott Kuggeleijn having overstepped - made the most of their fortune.
Denly's eventful innings came to a tame end when he pulled Tickner to Mitchell at midwicket but Pope found a fine ally in Buttler, who got off the mark by smashing spinner Ajaz Patel for six, one of three maximums he hit.
Buttler added further runs with Sam Curran (13) and Jofra Archer (17no) once Pope had perished in the deep looking to thump Patel over long-off.
Kuggeleijn took the catch to dismiss Pope and then also ousted Curran late on having come into the side as a concussion replacement for Hamish Rutherford - Rutherford withdrawn after being struck on the helmet by Archer while batting for New Zealand A on day one.
Watch day one of the first Test between New Zealand and England, at Bay Oval in Tauranga, live on Sky Sports Cricket (channel 404) and Sky Sports Main Event (channel 401) from 9pm on Wednesday.