Mark Wood said "having a laugh" was the key after he and Jonny Bairstow dragged England out of the mire on day one of the second Test against New Zealand.
The tourists were teetering on 164-7 when Wood joined Bairstow at the crease at Hagley Oval, but the recalled paceman and Bairstow put on 95 for the eighth wicket.
Wood (52) scored a maiden half-century before he became one of Tim Southee's five victims, but Bairstow was still there on 97 at stumps as England recovered to 290-8 in Christchurch.
Injury-plagued quick Wood said: "I had loads of fun but the worrying thing is I've got a fifty before a five-for, so I've done that the wrong way round.
"I loved batting with Jonny, a lad I've played with and against since I was about 11 years old. So nice to do it with him at the other end.
"When I went out to bat we were in a bit of trouble. Jonny knows I like to have a bit of fun out there, so it made it easier – just having a laugh and seeing how it goes. It just put my mind at ease and you forget the situation you are in.
"I worked hard in the nets this week thinking I might play this game. I get to 20 and I think I'm like [Don] Bradman, that's the problem, I try too many shots. It was nice having Jonny there, he kept it fun, kept it calm whereas sometimes I think I get a bit ahead of myself and try too much.
"[Neil] Wagner was bowling a lot of bouncers more often than not I knew where the ball was going to be. Me and Jonny talked about a plan and we could set up. When I first got in, Southee had done a lot of the damage and was nipping it around so it was harder."
England crumbled to a pitiful 58 all out in the first innings of the opening Test, which the Black Caps won by an innings and 49 runs, and Southee gave them credit for showing resistance on Friday.
"That little burst after lunch was good for us with three quick wickets then England dug deep and that partnership was a crucial one for then," said the New Zealand seamer.
"One thing to come out of it, it shows that once you get in and the ball gets a bit older the wicket is reasonably good. I think it's pretty even, it would have been nice to finish them off this evening but credit has to go to the way the lower [order] of England stuck in.
"The way that Jonny has played all summer so we know he's a big wicket and a dangerous player which he showed at the end."