Mark Stoneman top-scored for the visiting side with a 113-ball 85. © AFP

Mark Stoneman top-scored for the visiting side with a 113-ball 85. © AFP

Mark Stoneman and James Vince were among the runs but Joe Root, the captain, was dismissed cheaply as England made a solid start to their Ashes tour in Perth on Saturday (November 4).

Stoneman hit 85 off 113 balls while Vince compiled 82 off 129 balls as the visitors reached 349 for 6 after winning the toss at the close of the first day of their two-day game against a Western Australia XI.

But Root fell for just nine and Alastair Cook was out on the second ball of the innings in setbacks for the England team ahead of the Ashes series.

Root looked annoyed when he was given out caught behind when it looked like the ball had flicked his leg rather than his bat.

Stoneman fell 15 runs short of his century when he was picked up at second slip as he attempted to drive Lance Morris, the paceman. That ended a 153-run stand for the second wicket with Vince, who was caught at mid-wicket off Aaron Hardie.

Vince was reprieved thrice in his knock on 47, 63 and 67, twice at slip by Nathan Coulter-Nile and once at mid-wicket from a pull.

“It was good to get that time in the middle,” said Stoneman. “There was enough there to keep the opening bowlers interested with the new ball and there’s that bit of extra bounce here, which always has the catchers in play. It was nice once we got through that new-ball period to settle in and get into some rhythm.

“Cook and Root are the bankers — it’s a shame for them on a personal note but it gave other guys the chance to get time in the middle.”

Dawid Malan and Gary Ballance spent valuable time in the middle with Malan scoring 56 and Ballance 51, before they both retired out to give others further down the order batting practice.

Jonny Bairstow (36) and Chris Woakes (25) guided the side to stumps.

It was a dreadful start to the Ashes tour for Cook, who has now been dismissed twice in his last three balls at the WACA Ground following his first ball duck to Ryan Harris back in 2013.cCook played at a good ball from Coulter-Nile just outside the off stump and nicked to Calum How, the wicketkeeper.

Coulter-Nile proved a handful for Stoneman and Vince in his opening spell before they settled into the groove. The paceman, who finished the day with 1 for 43 off 16 overs, is attempting to force his way into the Australian squad for the first Test against England, starting in Brisbane on November 23.

England decided to field 13 players in the tour match, with only Steven Finn (jarred left knee), Moeen Ali (side strain) and Ben Foakes missing from the 16-man touring squad.