If England were hoping for a morale boost in this two-day match, after chastening first-Test defeat at the Gabba, there was precious little sign of it as CAC openers Marcus Harris and Steve Cazzulino negotiated the frontline pace bowlers with a disconcerting degree of comfort.
But after a 78-run stand - 29 more than any England partnership could muster in their 212 for seven declared - Swann (four for 45) and Panesar began the process of trying to eke out first-innings honours, and the hosts grafted to a teatime 189 for six in a contest destined for an inevitable stalemate.
Harris, along with the majority of his team-mates here still largely surplus to requirements for his State team, already had a 50 to his name against England in the first match of their tour for Western Australia in Perth last month.
This time, he fell just one run short of another when he got greedy in Swann's first over of the day and mistimed a gentle skier to Steven Finn running round behind the bowler from mid off.
By then, Harris in particular had put the Test aspirations of Finn, Boyd Rankin - and all-rounder Ben Stokes - into unflattering context.
He crunched the lacklustre Finn for three fours in one over - a pull, cover-drive and upper-cut - and then got stuck into Stokes too, when he dropped short.
England's apparent plan was to try to intimidate this second-string line-up, but it was not working on a relatively placid surface.
It was not, in fact, until Swann was introduced for the 17th over of a glorious morning that - after Harris had just cleared Panesar for a four over mid on - he went after another big drive and holed out.
Finn was again the catcher, with some juggling thrown in this time, when number three Michael Hill got underneath an attempted big hit which skewed high to mid off.
Swann struck again before lunch as Alex Keath tried to clear the in-field too but merely chipped a thick inside-edge to midwicket.
It was hard to infer from England's deployment of Panesar - kept out of the attack until the 38th over, and after each of his fellow bowlers had already been granted two spells - that he is in serious consideration as a second spinner for next week's second Test in Adelaide.
But once he got his chance, he and Swann bowling in tandem for 70 minutes either side of lunch, the slow left-armer was impressive.
He lured Cazzulino up the wicket, where he missed some turn and was bowled through the gate to fall two short of his 50, and then also drew Luke Robins out of his ground to be routinely stumped.
In between, Swann added a fourth wicket in his 17-over spell from the Speed Street end when teenager Jake Doran was caught at bat and pad.
The off-spinner also had Josh Lalor dropped on nought at slip by Joe Root, back on the field after a bout of tummy trouble.
When England turned back to pace, though, Ashton Turner and Lalor began to play with a little more comfort in an unbroken stand which took the hosts towards parity after all.
- Sports & Recreation