The Chairman's XI cricketers are 16 without loss after England declared at their total of 212 for seven on day one of their two-day tour match at Alice Springs.
Test hopefuls Jonny Bairstow and the uncapped Zimbabwe-born Gary Ballance top-scored for England, wicketkeeper/batsman Bairstow unbeaten on 31 while Ballance scored a patient 55 off 134 balls at No.3.
Sent in to bat in hot conditions at Traeger Park, the tourists slumped to 149 for six before Bairstow and Graeme Swann, who hit 29, added 49 for the seventh wicket.
Michael Carberry went for six, Joe Root 22 and Matt Prior 19 before lunch.
New Zealand-born allrounder Ben Stokes batted at No.5 and was caught at short leg for 28, failing in his bid to post a big score to push for a Test debut in Adelaide next week.
The declaration after 79 overs left Bairstow short of a big score to boost his selection hopes.
England need to adjust their batting lineup for next week's second Test in Adelaide following the withdrawal of No.3 Jonathan Trott from the rest of the Ashes series with a stress-related illness.