James Vince brought up his maiden Test half-century as England built on their fine start to the Ashes opener against Australia in Brisbane.
The start of the second session at the Gabba on Thursday was delayed for more than two hours due to rain.
But, when play resumed, it was the tourists who stayed in control on a fine wicket for batting.
Vince (72 not out) posted his first Test half-century and Mark Stoneman (53) his second before the latter fell just a few minutes prior to tea, leaving England at 128-2 with captain Joe Root (1) also unbeaten.
Stoneman and Vince put on 125 for the second wicket after Alastair Cook (2) fell in the third over of the day.
Pat Cummins (1-43) bowled Stoneman with one that came back in, a wicket the hosts desperately needed.
Vince had been dropped by Tim Paine - making his first Test appearance since 2010 and lauded for his glove work - off Nathan Lyon (0-21) when on 68.
The right-hander had brought up his 50 with a fine square drive for four before surviving an leg before shout off Cummins.
Mitchell Starc (1-26) and Josh Hazlewood (0-38) struggled to trouble England on a flat and slow Gabba wicket.