Australia's Test aspirants have done little to further their Baggy Green ambitions on the opening afternoon of the Tour Match with Sri Lanka with the Queenslanders all falling cheaply in the first hour in Hobart.
Joe Burns, the Cricket Australia XI captain, No.3 batsman Marnus Labuschagne and Matthew Renshaw all fell – in that order – as the CA XI slipped to 3-25 in the 11th over.
Burns was the first to fall for just four from 13 balls as he played at a wider ball from Kasun Rajitha and it flew towards the vacant fourth slip region only for Dhananjaya De Silva to fling himself to his right from third slip and reel in a great catch.
Labuschagne, batting in the position he occupied against India after a surprise recall for the SCG Test, cut hard to the boundary when he received a similar ball in his innings.
But a rising delivery from Dushmantha Chameera saw him stand up on his toes and attempt to force off the back foot, succeeding only in finding an inside edge that chopped down onto his off-stump as he exited for six from 13 balls.
And it was Chameera that struck again when he had Matthew Renshaw edging to first slip where Dimuth Karunaratne took a good low catch coming forward.
Renshaw had been circumspect in scoring seven from 35 balls, his only boundary coming off an edge played with soft hands that he guided between the slips fielders and gully.
It wasn't all good news for Sri Lanka however, with the visitors suffering an early injury worry.
New-ball bowler Nuwan Pradeep pulled up clutching his hamstring after five balls of his second over.
He finished the over but promptly left the field.
There had been some animated discussion between captains Burns and Dinesh Chandimal before the coin toss as they thrashed out the rules of engagement for this three-day, day-night, pink ball clash.
Sri Lanka had opted to use their full squad in the match, as is their right as the visiting team, but the Australians were insistent on a coin toss to determine who would bat first.
Shorn of first-class status the match may be, but for the Test hopefuls in the Cricket Australia XI, this game carries significant weight.
Burns duly won the coin toss, with both sides agreeing to bat a maximum of 75 overs for the first innings to give both an opportunity to bat and bowl under lights with the iridescent pink Kookaburra ball.
The Cricket Australia XI v Sri Lanka Tour Match in Hobart is being live streamed for free on www.cricket.com.au and the CA Live App and via cricket.com.au on YouTube.
Play in this pink ball Tour Match starts at 2pm (AEDT) daily for the three days.
Cricket Australia XI: Joe Burns (captain), Matthew Renshaw, Kurtis Patterson (vice-captain), Marnus Labuschagne, Will Pucovski, Jason Sangha, Jake Doran (wicketkeeper), Michael Neser, Chris Tremain, Scott Boland, Jon Holland.
Domain Test Series v Sri Lanka
Australia: Tim Paine (captain / wicketkeeper), Josh Hazlewood (vice-captain), Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Will Pucovski, Matt Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle.
Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dhananjaya de Silva, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Kusal Perera, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara, Dushmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha.
Jan 17-19: Tour Match, Cricket Australia XI v Sri Lanka, Blundstone Arena - Hobart (D/N)
Jan 24-28: First Test, The Gabba - Brisbane (D/N)
Feb 1-5: Second Test, Manuka Oval - Canberra
WHAT: Cricket Australia XI v Sri Lanka - Pink Ball Day-Night Tour Match
WHEN: THIS Thursday 17 - Saturday 19 January 2019
WHERE: Blundstone Arena, Hobart
FREE ENTRY - ALL SESSIONS - ALL DAYS
DAILY MATCH SCHEDULE
Gates Open: 1.30pm
Coin Toss: 1.30pm
Session One: 2-4pm
Tea Break: 4-4.20pm
Session Two: 4.20-6.20pm
Dinner Break: 6.20-7pm
Session Three: 7-9pm
Speaking on the CA XI, National Selector Trevor Hohns said:
“The CA XI squad is critical to our pathway system and continuing to harness identified talent at the highest possible level. The players in this squad are of interest to the National Selection Panel, as we look ahead to the World Cup and Ashes campaigns in 2019.”
Australia XI Squad
Joe Burns (c) - Queensland
Kurtis Patterson (vc) – New South Wales
Scott Boland – Victoria
Jake Doran (wk) - Tasmania
Jon Holland – Victoria
Marnus Labuschagne - Queensland
Michael Neser - Queensland
Will Pucovski - Victoria
Jason Sangha – New South Wales
Matt Renshaw - Queensland
Chris Tremain - Victoria
Charlie Wakim - Tasmania
Sri Lanka Squad
Kusal Janith Perera
Dananjaya De Silva