Chris Rogers scored his maiden Test century to dig Australia out of trouble on the second day of the fourth Ashes Test at Emirates Durham ICG.
The opener made an unbeaten 101 as the tourists finished the day on 222-5, a first-innings deficit of 16 after earlier bowling England out for 238.
Australia seemed on the verge of a major collapse when Stuart Broad tore through their top order in an inspired seven-over spell during the morning session, but Rogers led the fightback after lunch.
He was supported well by former opening partner Shane Watson in a valuable fifth-wicket stand of 129, with Broad having to content himself with figures of 4-48 when bad light stopped play at the end of the day.
Australia went into the day firmly on top but Broad quickly sowed the seeds of doubt, claiming his first wicket by bowling David Warner (3) with a ball which nipped back in to the left-hander.
Usman Khawaja was the next to fall for a duck, the batsman being caught in two minds over whether to leave and nicking a bottom edge through to Matt Prior behind the stumps.
The paceman thought he had a third wicket when Rogers was given out caught behind by umpire Tony Hill, but he reviewed the decision and the technology revealed the ball hit pad but not bat.
There were nevertheless celebrations from the England players when Hawk Eye showed the lbw verdict to be 'umpire's call' on hitting the stumps, but as that aspect of the appeal had originally been given not out, Rogers' wicket remained intact.
Broad did get another scalp when Australia captain Michael Clarke (6) edged to first slip, with Steve Smith (17) joining him in the pavilion after lunch when he was snapped up behind the stumps off the bowling of Tim Bresnan.
Bresnan could have had another wicket but dropped a one-handed return chance from Watson when the powerful batsman was on just five.
Another drop, this time by a diving Graeme Swann in the slips, allowed Rogers to bring up his fifty and the opener kept the scoreboard ticking over with Watson until tea.
The stand continued well into the evening session, with Watson making an impressive 68 before chasing a Broad delivery down the leg side and flicking through to Prior, who took his third catch.
Rogers was in the nervous nineties when the wicket fell but eventually reached three figures by sweeping Swann away for four having been stuck on 96 for an agonising 19 balls.
Brad Haddin joined him in the middle and the wicket-keeper made 12 not out before umpires Hill and Aleem Dar called a halt to proceedings 35 minutes ,before the expected close of play due to the gloomy overhead conditions.
At the start of the day Australia needed just one wicket to wrap up the England innings and Jackson Bird claimed it with the final ball of the second over, bowling No 11 James Anderson for a useful 16.