England opener Mark Stoneman sounded a note of caution to his side’s batsmen despite three hitting half-centuries on the first day of their Ashes warm-up clash against a Cricket Australia XI at the Adelaide Oval.
Durham’s Stoneman, Dawid Malan of Middlesex and skipper Joe Root all passed 50 as England closed on 278-8 in a day-night clash being played with a pink ball in a bid to mirror the likely conditions in the second Test at Adelaide in December.
It was not all positivity for England as former captain Alastair Cook failed for the second innings in succession with a knock of 15, while Jonny Bairstow could only muster nine. A century for an England batsman on the tour remains elusive.
“Some of the dismissals we had today were a touch on the sloppy side, so it was a little bit frustrating more than anything that we didn’t kick on and probably have a couple of hundreds out there today.
“Everyone got a bit of time in the middle, so that was encouraging – but we also need to be scoring hundreds, big hundreds. So there are lessons to be learned from today.”
There was also a concern that England were susceptible to the leg-spin of 21-year-old Daniel Fallins, who snared four of the tourists’ top six – Stoneman, James Vince, Root and Bairstow – despite the game being his maiden first-class match.
England also lost three wickets for just seven runs in the final four overs under the lights to change the complexion of a day which had previously looked destined to finish with the balance of power in their favour.
Root, who was dismissed for nine in the opening warm-up game, was the most fluent of England’s batsmen as he struck four boundaries in an energetic 80-ball innings which yielded 58 runs.
Stoneman weighed in with 61 to continue his impressive early form and the 30-year-old shared a 70-run stand with Root after James Vince, again batting at No3, had become Fallins’s first victim having amassed 33.
Middlesex’s Malan boosted his chances of cementing the No5 spot in England’s batting line-up for the opening Test at The Gabba, which starts on 23 November, by chalking up his second consecutive half-century of the tour. He was eventually out for 63.
Malan was dismissed in the final over of the day as he, Chris Woakes and Craig Overton fell in quick succession. Malan and Woakes were both dismissed by seamer Jackson Coleman, another debutant, as he ended the day with three wickets.