Chris Woakes put in a super new-ball effort to put England on the verge of a win. © Getty Images

Chris Woakes put in a super new-ball effort to put England on the verge of a win. © Getty Images

Chris Woakes claimed four wickets as the Englishmen roared back to the verge of victory against a Cricket Australia XI after the third day of the four-day tour match at Adelaide Oval on Friday (November 10).

The visiting side scrambled to 207 in their second innings on the back of Jonny Bairstow’s unbeaten 61 off 66 balls, leaving CA XI 268 runs to win in the day-night pink-ball match. But Woakes led a spirited fightback, capturing 4 for 17 in 10 overs to leave the CA XI innings in tatters at 70 for 7.

Joe Root’s side tried to wrap up victory by opting for an extra half-hour of play under lights, but were thwarted by Matt Short (28 not out) and Gurinder Sandhu (17 not out).

Up until Woakes’s superb bowling spell, it was an embarrassing day for the tourists, who stumbled to 124 for 7 at one stage.

Jake Ball will miss the rest of the tour game as he continued his recovery from an ankle injury, sustained when he fell awkwardly while bowling his fourth over on Thursday. Ball was forced to withdraw from the match and had a scan on Friday to determine the damage to his right ankle. England have already lost Steven Finn, who has flown home because of a knee injury, and his replacement Tom Curran arrived in Adelaide only on Friday. Moeen Ali is also yet to feature in the warm-up matches as he struggles with a side strain.

They went from 79 without loss to lose seven wickets for 45 runs in a spectacular crash before Bairstow, who hit a six to get to his half-century, and Mason Crane (18) helped boost the innings in a 70-run stand.

When James Anderson became Simon Milenko’s fifth wicket, England’s second innings was over, with injured Jake Ball unable to come to bat on his injured ankle.

Earlier, Alastair Cook’s scratchy start to his Ashes tour continued, as he made 32 from 85 balls. Cook began his tour with a second-ball duck against a Western Australian XI and made only 15 in the first innings in Adelaide.

The veteran opener’s dismissal triggered England’s slide – he was followed to the pavilion by Mark Stoneman, who made 51, his third consecutive half-century on tour. Root (one), Dawid Malan (five), James Vince (29), Woakes (two) and Craig Overton (zero) fell in rapid succession as England plummeted to 124 for 7.

Woakes then burst through the home side’s top order, picking up the first three wickets inside eight overs to leave them at seven for three. Overton then chipped in with Tim Paine’s wicket before Woakes got his fourth, the wicket of Ryan Gibson. Overton added one more to his kitty even as James Anderson sent back Milenko in the 18th over of the innings.

“I’ve been very impressed with Craig. He’s a big lad, gets plenty of bounce and he’s very skilful too,” said Anderson, named Friday as England’s new vice-captain. “He can swing the ball, seam the ball and he brings something different to the team. He’s settled in really well.”

Short and Sandhu, however, batted on till play was called off after 33 overs.

Brief scores: England 293 & 203 in 67.4 overs (Alastair Cook 32, Mark Stoneman 51, James Vince 29, Jonny Bairstow 61 n.o.; Gurinder Sandhu 2-47, Simon Milenko 5-34) v Cricket Australia XI 233/9 decl & 70/7 in 33 overs (Matt Short 28 n.o.; Chris Woakes 4-17, Craig Overton 2-10).