David Warner will look to capitalise after surviving on a day where the lesser-knowns, not the Test stars, shone in Queensland's Sheffield Shield opener against NSW at the Gabba.
Bulls trio Usman Khawaja (1), Joe Burns (13) and Matthew Renshaw (19) all failed to mount a case for selection in the first Test at the same venue next month.
The unexpected final chapter came when Steve Smith was dismissed for a duck by Cameron Gannon, who has represented the United States in T20 cricket.
The Blues finished 3-50, with Warner unbeaten on 27, in pursuit of Queensland's 153 after Harry Conway (5-17 from 13 overs) slowly strangled the hosts with the help of Sean Abbott and Trent Copeland.
Smith slashed loosely at a Gannon (3-17) delivery, with Burns pouching the catch to hand the former Test skipper a first-class duck for the first time in 54 innings and nearly three years.
His sudden exit wasn't in the script after a dominant Ashes series, in which Smith amassed 774 runs at an average of 110.57 against the English.
Gannon, whose mother is American, then had Moises Henriques edging again to Burns and later admitted the "weird" stint with the American team had energised him in a career stunted by a 2013 ban for an illegal action.
"It really kind of refreshed me a bit ... it's (now) the most fun I've had playing cricket in a long time, I'm really happy and hopefully that shows," he said.
"It was really weird though, obviously standing behind another nation's flag (while playing for the United States)."
Gannon said the plan was simple, something English bowlers would hate to hear after their luckless pursuit of a cheap Smith wicket all Ashes series.
"He's obviously an absolute weapon off his pads, so plan was to go a bit wider," he said.
It continued a day dominated by the bowlers, namely Conway who ran through the Bulls' tail to ensure Mitchell Starc (0-42) went wicketless as he too chases a berth against Pakistan at the Gabba from November 21.
Like Smith, Warner is also playing his first Sheffield Shield game since a ball-tampering ban and will be keen for runs after his Ashes tour reaped just 95 at 9.5 and selector Trevor Hohns said this week that spots were "up for grabs".
Test No.3 Marnus Labuschagne (69 from 140 balls) had saved the Bulls' blushes with a patient knock, but when he became Conway's second wicket the floodgates opened.
Earlier Khawaja, coming off consecutive one-day hundreds for his state, threw his head back in frustration when trapped on the crease by Conway midway through the first session.
Australian Associated Press