England captain Andrew Strauss felt it was "worth having a go" at an improbable run chase against South Africa on the last day of the second Test.
The hosts were set a highly unlikely 259 from 39 overs after Stuart Broad's five-wicket haul had given the hosts a glimmer of hope.
The Nottinghamshire seamer claimed four wickets for 12 runs as the Proteas slipped from 120 without loss to 258-9 before skipper Graeme Smith decided to declare, setting up an intriguing finish to the contest.
Kevin Pietersen was sent out to open for England but managed only a breezy 12 and when Matt Prior was run out having been pushed up to No.5 in the order, they opted to shut up shop and play out time.
"We felt it was worth having a go at it," Strauss told Sky Sports.
"We sent in KP, who's obviously in outstanding form, to set things in action but once Matt Prior got out it was probably time to shut up shop.
"It was a bit of a tall chase in the first place but it was certainly worth having a go."
Pietersen gave England a promising start with three fours in the opening over from Morne Morkel but on his departure Strauss himself came in, rather than the likes of Prior or one-day opener Ian Bell.
"We just felt that if we let KP have a go, and then consolidate if he got out early, and then look at it a bit more and then try and get it into a Twenty20 situation towards the back end," he added.
"We probably lost a couple too many and once Matt Prior got out, it was too much to do."
Strauss could at least take heart from his side's improved performance in Leeds after they had been thoroughly outplayed in the series opener at the Oval, taking just two South African wickets in that first Test.
He singled out Broad for special praise, even if his efforts couldn't quite get England the victory they needed to level matters heading to Lord's.
"I was delighted with Stuart Broad today," Strauss said.
"It's nice to get into the South African order a little bit more.
"Our bowlers actually grafted really well for not a lot of reward.
"The ball went past the edge a lot but maybe those early in-roads on the first morning is the key for us to win again."
Opposite number Smith revealed South Africa had planned to give themselves a chance of victory by being more attacking after lunch.
"After lunch we came out and scored at a good rate. We wanted to be positive," said Smith, who put on a century partnership with stand-in opener Jacques Rudolph.
"We decided at tea we were going to go out and bowl and try to win. We were probably one wicket away from having a real go with 15 overs to go."
Smith admitted Pietersen's knock of 149 in the first innings had rescued England, who had fallen to 173-4 in response to South Africa's 419.
"I think Kevin's knock was a defining moment in the Test match," Smith added.
"We had England under pressure and he took the game to us and played superbly well, you've got to give credit to him.
"He got England to an even keel in the Test match and for us, it was about just trying to set up an opportunity to try and get a victory with so much time lost to rain."