England overcame a spot of unexpected bother yesterday against a rookie leg-spinner on his first-class debut on an awkward first day at the Adelaide Oval.
This pink-ball trial match against a Cricket Australia XI was billed as an opportunity for Joe Root’s team to work out first hand how to handle the Kookaburra in day-night conditions.
But after being put in on a sunny afternoon in the second fixture of their Ashes tour, only half-centuries from the captain and Mark Stoneman gave them a foothold as Daniel Fallins took four for 71, with only Dawid Malan (63) and Chris Woakes around to discover the vagaries of twilight batting on the way to 278 for eight.
Root (58) got his Ashes tour under way after missing out against Western Australia last weekend, while Stoneman (61) followed his 85 in Perth, and Malan also bagged his second half-century on his first trip to Australia as they made up the shortfall from Alastair Cook at the top of the order.
And Stoneman admitted a succession of “sloppy” dismissals added up to a disappointing first day.
“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 scored out there today.
“Everyone got a bit of time in the middle, so that was encouraging — but we also need to be scoring hundreds, and big hundreds.
“So there are lessons to be learned from today.”
A young home team therefore remain in contention and Stoneman added: “Credit to [them] — they’ve got themselves back in the game.
“There’s been a progression from the opposition we faced in Perth … it was a step up.”
The opener posted his second successive 50 but rued his own error when a bigger score was there for the taking.
“The bat twisted a little bit in my hand, and I clothed it to midwicket — so it was pretty disappointing,” he said.
“There was a chance there to go on and make a really big score, and really get myself into the tour.”