Joe Root's side quickly lost their last two wickets in the first session to be bowled out for 293 but soon had the CA XI in trouble at 57-5.
With Moeen Ali missing this game with a side strain and Tom Curran, Finn's replacement, yet to arrive in Adelaide, England now have just 13 fit players available.
So with Stuart Broad rested from this match, reserve wicketkeeper Ben Foakes in the nets and Gary Ballance already on as a replacement for Ball, Collingwood, who still plays for Durham but quit Test cricket after England's successful 2010-11 Ashes tour, was forced to don his whites and enter the fray when James Vince left the field for an over.
So the last thing England needed was a problem with Ball, who has been superb on this trip so far and was nearly a certainty to make the XI for the opening Ashes Test at the Gabba.
That reduced the CA XI to 160 for seven.
With Ball's status uncertain, Overton's performance (1 for 40 from 15 overs) was a desperately needed tonic for the beleaguered tourists and may have catapulted him into pole position for a first Test berth. However, Crane showcased his vast talent by knocking over highly-rated Victorian youngster Will Pucovski (4) with a standout delivery.
But he was taken for 19 runs by tail-ender Simon Milenko in his 12th over during a final session that saw the CA XI cheekily declare on 233 for nine, a deficit of 60, to give themselves five overs at England's openers under lights before the close. Their bowlers were tidy but probably not since the 1960s - perhaps not since the 1860s when they first toured here - have England faced an attack of such amiable pace in a first-class match in Australia.
The day began with England 278-8 but Ball was soon bowled by Gurinder Sandhu and Daniel Fallins trapped Anderson lbw to complete his five-for and put the visitors' bowlers to work. Results are nearly trivial at this point, as a desperately unlucky England - with one more scheduled four-day tour match before the first Test - just hoping to get through unscathed ahead of the Ashes.
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