Dawid Malan hit his first hundred in an England shirt to put the tourists in a strong position at the end of day three in their final warm-up game in Townsville.
The Middlesex left-hander made 109 and captain Joe Root 83 as England posted 525 despite a collapse that saw Jonny Bairstow (19), Moeen Ali (5) and Craig Overton (0) fall cheaply. It was Moeen’s only innings before the Gabba and for Overton – favourite to play in Brisbane due to injuries elsewhere – it was a third successive duck.
The late order did rally as Mason Crane made 25* in a last-wicket stand of 58 with Chris Woakes (36).
CA XI were 144 runs behind at 121-3 at stumps, after two wickets from Moeen and one from Crane. They are targeting victory on the final day before heading to Brisbane.