Chris Woakes    Getty Images
Chris Woakes Getty Images

Pacer Chris Woakes snared 6 wickets to give England the upper hand in the final Ashes warm-up tie against a Cricket Australia XI, who were restricted to 249 for 9 on the opening day of the four-dayer here. Fresh from a four-wicket haul in the second innings of the previous day-night tour game at Adelaide, the Warwickshire seamer ripped through the CA XI top order on Wednesday.

Craig Overton chipped in with two wickets while pace spearhead Stuart Broad took one as England found themselves in a comfortable position in the run-up to the first Ashes Test in Brisbane from November 23. Earlier, CA XI captain Matthew Short elected to bat after winning the toss but were soon reduced to 154 for 5 as Woakes made life difficult for the top order.

In the afternoon session, England survived a scare when a ball struck stumper Jonny Bairstow’s middle finger, but the wicketkeeper returned to action after being strapped up.

England cannot afford to lose another player after pacer Steven Finn was forced to return home with a knee injury while fellow paceman Jake Ball is also nursing an ankle injury. Veteran pacer James Anderson is also ill and is out of the ongoing tie while spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali is just back to competitive cricket after recovering from a side strain.