England batsmen find feet in Perth – cricket.com.au

England’s two biggest stars failed to fire as Australian paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile struck an early psychological blow with a strong display in the two-day tour match at the WACA Ground.

Coulter-Nile, captaining a baby-faced Western Australian XI, dismissed England opener Alastair Cook for a duck with just the second ball of Saturday’s opening day.

Coulter-Nile removes Cook second ball

England captain Joe Root also failed, scoring just nine against what was effectively a third-string WA side.

England finished the day at 6-349, with the WA XI to bat on Sunday.

Opener Mark Stoneman (85), James Vince (82), Dawid Malan (56) and Gary Ballance (51) all made good runs.

Malan and Ballance retired late in the day to give other batsmen a chance.

Vince finds form in WACA warm-up

But Cook and Root couldn’t capitalise on the run feast.

Coulter-Nile, who found the edge of Cook’s bat with a pearler of a delivery, finished with 1-43 from 16 overs.

“It was nice. He usually smacks me in one-day cricket, so it was nice to get him early,” Coulter-Nile said of dismissing Cook.

“The body feels surprisingly good.”

Stoneman impresses in first hit out

Coulter-Nile’s pace and bounce regularly troubled England’s batsmen.

But his efforts with the ball were somewhat undone when he dropped two tough catches at slip, giving Vince a life on 41 and 63.

Stoneman was also given two lives, with the WA XI dropping a host of catches throughout the day.

Malan starts Ashes tour with unbeaten fifty

But England’s luck didn’t transfer to Root, who was given out caught behind off young paceman Aaron Hardie.

Root questioned the decision as he walked off, wondering whether he had been given out lbw or caught.

Coulter-Nile is attempting to force his way into the Australian squad for the first Test against England, starting on November 23 in Brisbane.

Root cops a shocker first ball of his Ashes tour

Coulter-Nile starred for WA with bat and ball in last week’s Sheffield Shield win over Tasmania.

Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc are all ahead of Coulter-Nile in the Test pecking order.

It means Coulter-Nile will need one of those pacemen to get injured or be rested if he is to earn a call-up.

Tasmanian paceman Jackson Bird is vying with Coulter-Nile to be the preferred back-up.

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

Ballance pushes Ashes case with half-century

The England and Wales Cricket Board has confirmed Finn and Moeen will also miss the second warm-up match next week in Adelaide.

England: Joe Root (capt), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes.

WA XI: Nathan Coulter-Nile (capt), Will Bosisto, Jake Carder, Tim David, Aaron Hardie, Clint Hinchliffe, Nick Hobson, Calum How, Lance Morris, Josh Philippe, Mark Turner, Kyle Gardiner (12th man).

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Vadhiya Natha

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