England captain Alastair Cook and Samit Patel shared an unbeaten 153-run partnership as the tourists battled back against India A on day two of their opening tour match in Mumbai.
After the hosts failed to add to their overnight score of 369 for 9, with James Anderson trapping Vinay Kumar (25) first up, England were 133 for 4 at one stage with Yuvraj Singh (2-52) the chief tormentor.
But Cook (112 not out), in his first tour as permanent captain, and Patel (82 not out), rebuilt the innings to leave England 83 runs short of the India A total going into the final day of the three-day tour game.
Nick Compton did little to enhance his hopes of opening the batting for England in the first test against India in Ahmedabad, being dismissed for a third-ball duck by Ashok Dinda in the second over.
Jonathan Trott (56) and Cook put on 95 for the second wicket before the former was bowled by Suresh Reina, while Kevin Pietersen's return to the crease with England was short-lived, as a quick-fire 23 from 24 balls was halted by Yuvraj.
The India all-rounder also saw to Ian Bell (5) as the visitors crumbled before Cook and Patel survived through to tea, leaving England 83 runs short of the India A total with six first innings wickets in hand.
"It's obviously great to get a good start in the first game and a good score - I feel great," Patel said. "But there's still a lot of work to do and two (warm-up) games left, so I haven't got that position yet.
"I'm getting better, and the more games I play the better I'll be."
Turning his attention to England's new captain, Patel said: "I thought Cooky played out of his skin, to bat all day is a great effort. Chef's [Cook's] character and work ethic is outstanding, and it shows in his batting.
"One of our things is to grind and work hard as a unit and keep India in the dirt."
The day began badly for England with the news that premier strike bowler Steven Finn would miss the remainder of the first tour match with a thigh strain.
Finn bowled just four overs on day one before being withdrawn with the complaint, and despite a subsequent scan showing no tear, the 23-year-old has withdrawn from the rest of the game and is a doubt for the second tour match against Mumbai A starting on Saturday.