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Australia strike three times in even start to Sydney Test

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Australia took three wickets as England’s top-order were unable to capitalise on starts in the fifth Ashes Test.

England’s top-order failed to make the most of starts as Australia struck three times to begin day one of the fifth Ashes Test in Sydney.

Alastair Cook (39), James Vince (25) and Mark Stoneman (24) were unable to capitalise at the SCG on Thursday.

England captain Joe Root, who won the toss and chose to bat, and Dawid Malan were both unbeaten on 16 at tea.

The tourists reached 122-3 at the break after a rain delay to begin the day led to an early lunch being called without a ball bowled.

There was some early movement for the pacemen under cloudy skies as Cook and Stoneman played and missed on numerous occasions.

Stoneman made a run-a-ball 24 before being undone by a short ball from Pat Cummins (2-35), edging through to Tim Paine.


Cook and Vince put on a 60-run partnership but the latter again failed to make the most of a start.

Vince chased a wide one from Cummins and was caught behind for 25, marking the fourth time this series he has reached double figures without getting to a half-century.

Australia were boosted by that dismissal and another arrived in Cook.

Cook, who made an unbeaten double-century in the fourth Test, was struck on the pads by Josh Hazlewood (1-20) but given not out.

However, Australia reviewed and replays showed the delivery hitting the stumps to give the hosts – who have already won the Ashes – the big wicket of the opener.

Returning from injury, Mitchell Starc (0-32) is yet to get to his best, while Nathan Lyon (0-34) has impressed on a wicket already offering some turn.