A second-string WACA Chairman's XI were expected to be nothing more than road kill against the might of England, who are aiming to secure a fourth straight Ashes series triumph this summer.
But a quick-fire ton from Queensland's Chris Lynn and half-centuries from Mitch Marsh (58 off 59 balls), Marcus Harris (69) and Luke Towers (77) guided the home side to 4-365 at stumps on day one.
Lynn was only made available for the match after being overlooked for Queensland's Sheffield Shield clash with South Australia in Adelaide.
The 23-year-old starred for the Bulls during the recent one-day competition, and his knock of 104 against England, which featured 16 fours and one six off 124 balls, will boost his chances of a Shield recall.
England's selectors were looking to use the three-day tour match as a bowl-off to decide who should join James Anderson and Stuart Broad in the team's three-man pace battery for the first Test against Australia in Brisbane, starting November 21.
But Chris Tremlett, Steven Finn and Boyd Rankin failed to make the most of their audition, with the trio taking just one wicket between them.
Rankin came in for particular punishment, conceding 25 runs from his first three overs after bowling a series of horrible full tosses before finishing with 1-87 from 18 overs.
England also endured a bad day in the field, with a series of misfields and dropped catches costing them dearly.
Lynn was on 68 when he was dropped by Tremlett at mid-on.
And Marsh was on just six when his edge off Finn was put down by Joe Root at slip.
England rested skipper Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann and Broad for the match.
Even so, they would have been expecting a far stronger performance against a WA line-up missing most of its best players due to Sheffield Shield duties.
At one point, the WACA Chairman's XI were 1-225, before England part-time spinner Root, Tremlett and Ben Stokes broke through to at least give the visitors something to cheer about.
Young all-rounder Ashton Turner (17no) and James Allenby (34no) survived some nervy moments with the new ball to make it through to stumps.
James Anderson was the pick of the bowlers with 1-31 from 16 overs.