Alice Springs: England failed to get a boost ahead of next week's second Ashes Test as they conceded an innings lead to a modest Cricket Australia Chairman's XI in Alice Springs on Saturday.
The two-day tour match ended in a draw but the Chairman's XI finished moral winners trumping England's first innings declaration of 212 for seven with their 254 for eight declared.
At stumps on the final day, England hit the front in the 16th and final over of their second innings at 47 for one with Michael Carberry unbeaten on 37 and man-of-the-match Gary Ballance on eight.
Only five players from last week's 381-run loss to Australia in the first Brisbane Test played, but there was little for the tourists apart from sightseeing to take out of their visit to the Northern Territory.
As the temperatures soared into the high 30s, the tourists were left a little red faced as their quick bowlers were embarrassed by the little-known Chairman's XI batsmen.
Ashton Turner (39 not out) and Josh Lalor (45) shared a 64-run stand for the seventh wicket before Turner combined with tailender James Muirhead (29 off 17 balls) for an entertaining partnership of 48 for the Chairman's XI.
Pacemen Boyd Rankin (1-52), Steven Finn (0-61) and Ben Stokes (0-37) failed to impress, amid speculation seamer Chris Tremlett's Test spot could be under scrutiny for the Adelaide Test.
Test offspinner Graeme Swann gained some confidence following his mauling by Australia's batsmen in last week's first Test by picking up four for 56 off 23 overs while Test hopeful Monty Panesar claimed three for 41 from 19 overs.
Facing a drop-in pitch in Adelaide, England might be tempted to recall Panesar in a twin-spin attack for the second Test.
Swann removed Marcus Harris (49), Michael Hill (13) and Alex Keath (four) before lunch.
Western Australia's Harris added 78 for the first wicket with Tasmania's Steve Cazzulino (48).
Sixteen-year-old NSW Second XI batsman Jake Doran beat his age by one run before becoming Swann's fourth victim.
Panesar dismissed Lalor in the last over before the second new ball was taken.
Muirhead top-edged a pull shot for a single in the next over as the home side advanced to 213 and overtaking England's first innings total amid loud cheers from the fans.
Not a single member of the 12-man Chairman's XI side is a current Sheffield Shield player.
Uncapped England Test hopeful Gary Ballance was named player of the match for his first-innings 55 lifting his hopes of grabbing the number six batting spot in an expected reshuffle caused by the sudden departure of Jonathan Trott with a stress-related illness.
The ground announcer was removed from his post by Cricket Australia (CA) on Saturday after introducing Panesar in an Indian accent to the crowd.
Panesar was born in Luton of Indian descent.
"Cricket Australia deemed the conduct of the PA announcer as inappropriate and as such he will take no further part in the match," a CA spokesperson said.