James Vince made 83 before he was run out in the final session as England closed on 196-4 against Australia in the first Test at the Gabba.
Vince was run out in brilliant fashion by Nathan Lyon when attempting a quick single off an off-side dab, bringing to an end a determined innings that included 12 boundaries.
The Hampshire opener put on a 125-run partnership with fellow Ashes debutant Mark Stoneman, who made 53, after Alastair Cook edged Mitchell Starc to slip in the third over of the day.
Joe Root won the toss and opted to bat first on a slow wicket, but England's run rate was kept in check by some disciplined bowling from the hosts.
Root managed only 15 before he was beaten for pace and struck on the pads by an in-swinger from Pat Cummins, with the England captain forced to depart after umpire Marais Erasmus's not-out decision was reversed following a review.
Cummins's pace also accounted for Stoneman, who was bowled just before tea, with England falling from 127-1 to 163-4.
Dawid Malan was not out at 28 and Moeen Ali not out at 13 when play was curtailed due to bad light in Brisbane.
Earlier in the day, rain held up play for more than an hour and a half during Vince and Stoneman's second-wicket partnership.
"It was a pretty solid contribution from myself, I would've loved to have more but I think that partnership with me and Vince frustrated Australia for a long time," Stoneman told BBC Test Match Special.
"They were chopping and changing their bowlers so we knew we were doing our job, even if we weren't getting completely away from them on the scoreboard.
"We just want to bat and bat and bat and try to get a foothold in the game."
The wicket-less Lyon said he expected the pitch to harden up and offer more assistance for the quick bowlers on the second day.
"For me it was one of those days were you create chances with the ball and they miss," he said. "I thought I bowled well without much luck."