James Vince became a maiden first-class victim for a rookie leg-spinner when he was bowled for 33 as England made 278-8 on an awkward first day of their four-day friendly against a Cricket Australia XI at the Adelaide Oval.

Batting at number three, Vince put on 61 with Mark Stoneman (61)before he was bowled trying to slog sweep 21 year-old Daniel Fallins, who finished with 4-71.

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 Stoneman gave them a foothold.

Only Dawid Malan (63) and Chris Woakes (33) discovered the vagaries of twilight batting.

Root (58) got his Ashes tour under way after missing out against Western Australia last weekend, while Stoneman followed his 85 in Perth with another half century.

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.

After his 15 here, Cook has just 76 runs in his last six innings since August's double-century in the day-night Test at Edgbaston.

His opening partner, by contrast, continues to consolidate the broadly favourable impression made in last summer's series against West Indies - although he, James Vince and Root doubtless had their eyes on bigger scores before getting out to Fallins.

Cook was already gone by then, caught-behind for the fourth time in six attempts, when he became a maiden first-class victim for left-arm seamer Jackson Coleman.

The pink ball appeared curiously hard to time, and a slow outfield with no cut square either side of the drop-in pitch meant boundaries were scarce.

Vince took 10 balls to get off the mark - but as at the WACA, he and the left-handed Stoneman were an effective combination in a stand of 61.

Stoneman ought to have been caught behind too, having battled his way to 17 off 44 balls, but Tim Paine dropped an edged cut after Gurinder Sandhu switched to the Cathedral End for his second spell.

Vince seemed set for his second successive half-century until he missed a slog-sweep and was bowled to give 21-year-old Fallins a maiden first-class wicket with just his fifth delivery at this level.

The home attack, as in Perth, appeared to be under express orders to be as disciplined as possible against Root - who had to earn every run on his way to a 75-ball 50 which contained just three fours.

He and Stoneman put on 71 together, the latter passing his half-century in 102 deliveries before he was very well caught off a Fallins full-toss by a diving Jake Carder at midwicket.

Root also got little further than 50 before holing out off Fallins to deep mid-off.

There were some gimmes in Fallins' final column, as well as some useful wrist-spin in between, and Jonny Bairstow's cut at a leg-break was edged behind soon after dinner.

Malan, with his 101-ball half-century, and Woakes' earnest partnership of 76 put England in decent shape - but after both fell to late edges under lights and Craig Overton also went for a duck as three wickets fell for seven to the second new ball, the tourists had hit more significant trouble.

It added up to an uncomfortable indication as to whether they may be able to adapt well enough to keep Mitchell Starc and the rest of the Australia Test attack at bay on their return here next month.

Stoneman admitted a succession of "sloppy" dismissals added up to a disappointing first day for England.

He did not absolve himself from criticism after being caught at midwicket off a full-toss from Fallins.

England then lost three late wickets to the second new ball under lights.

"We're a fraction disappointed.

"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.

"Obviously there's been a progression from the opposition we faced in Perth... it was a step up."

The opener, who again saw Alastair Cook dismissed cheaply at the other end, 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."

He is not concerned about Cook's lack of runs in two innings so far, though.

"He's had a couple of decent balls early, up front," he said.

"That's the nature of opening the batting... but I think the feeling between us is quite good, and there's a decent level of chemistry.

"His record speaks for itself."

Stoneman was dropped by wicketkeeper Tim Paine on 17 but did not report that facing the pink ball was too taxing.

"It was fine," he said.

"There was the odd one that seamed early on, but not a great deal of movement.

"It was quite a slow wicket and a slow outfield as well - so 278 is probably worth about 320 - but those dismissals took the edge off the day."

Fallins, meanwhile, marked each wicket with a 'double-dab' celebration which he is building as a personal trademark.

"It came from a few of my mates mucking around," he said.

"It started in grade cricket, and I keep getting invited to these bigger and bigger games - so I thought I'd carry it through."