Paul Colling Wood and Ian ball both enjoyed some valuable time in the middle, but the rest of England's batsmen failed to make use of a good batting pitch in their second warm-up game. Adelaide Oval would have seemed the ideal venue for key men to get runs under their belts, but Australia's newest Test bowler, Peter George, made life difficult for the top order.
Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott are the two men England would like to see fire in the second innings; they are the only specialist batsmen who have not yet recorded a half-century on the tour. As they had in Perth, the visitors again played their best XI, a strong indication of how seriously they are taking the practice matches still a fortnight from the first Test.
Collingwood's 94 was a positive sign, as he enjoyed returning to the venue of his highest test score, but he missed the chance for a century when he edged to gully off the fast bowler Jake Haberfield. He scored his runs quickly - he took only 116 deliveries - and his partnership with Bell helped England recover from a shaky 4 for 95.
The early wickets came mostly through George, who played the Bangalore Test in October but is likely to have been overtaken by Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris, who have come back from long injury lay-offs, in the queue for a place in the Gabba Test. George began by removing Andrew Strauss, who was caught down leg side for 4, before he added Trott, who on 12 miscued a pull and gave George a return catch.
George had all three wickets when he came back after lunch to have Cook caught behind for 32, and England were in a hole at 3 for 63. Kevin Pietersen and Collingwood began the rebuilding process but Pietersen departed for 33, the victim of a clever take at deep square leg, where his hook was caught on the boundary by Aiden Blizzard, who tossed the ball back in the air while he fell out of play, and snaffled it again after stepping back in.
If that was a sign that it was not England's day, it was ignored by Collingwood and Bell, who combined for a brisk 131-run partnership. Bell was bowled by Ben Edmondson for 61 before the left-arm spinner Aaron O'Brien picked up a couple of lower-order wickets that encouraged a declaration from Strauss at 8 for 288 late in the day.
However, England's bowlers didn't have any success in nine overs before stumps. South Australia closed the day at 0 for 26, with James Smith on 16 and Daniel Harris on 10, and the fast men will need to find whatever help George (3 for 65) located in the surface if they are to enjoy their day in the field on Friday.