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Root and Stoneman both hit half-centuries to give England foothold against Australia XI

Root and Stoneman's both hit half-centuries for England. Photo: PA

Joe Root and Mark Stoneman's half-centuries gave England a foothold in their pink-ball trial match against a Cricket Australia XI at the Adelaide Oval.

Root (58) got his Ashes tour under way after missing out against Western Australia last weekend and Stoneman (61) followed up his 85 in Perth as they made up the shortfall from Alastair Cook in England's dinnertime 180 for four.

After his 15 here, Cook has just 76 runs in his last six innings since August's double-century in the day-night Test at Edgbaston.

His opening partner, by contrast, continues to consolidate the broadly favourable impression made in last summer's series against West Indies.

However he, James Vince and Root doubtless had their eyes on bigger scores before getting out to rookie leg-spinner Daniel Fallins (three for 37).

Cook was already gone by then, caught behind for the fourth time in six attempts, when he became a maiden first-class victim for left-arm seamer Jackson Coleman.

Alastair Cook was dismissed for just 15 by the Australia XI. Credit: PA

The pink ball appeared curiously hard to time for England's top order, and a slow outfield with no cut square either side of the drop-in pitch meant boundaries were scarce.

Vince took 10 balls to get off the mark but, as at the WACA, he and the left-handed Stoneman were an effective combination in a stand of 61.

Stoneman ought to have been caught behind too, having battled his way to 17 off 44 balls, but Tim Paine dropped an edged cut after Gurinder Sandhu switched to the Cathedral End for his second spell.

Vince appeared set for his second half-century of the tour until he missed a slog-sweep and was bowled to give 21-year-old Fallins a maiden first-class wicket with just his fifth delivery at this level.

Root joined Stoneman just before the first break.

The home attack, as in Perth, appeared to be under express orders to be as disciplined as possible against the England captain, who had to earn every run on his way to a 75-ball 50 which contained just three fours.

He and Stoneman put on 71 together, the latter passing his half-century in 102 deliveries before he tried to dispatch a Fallins full-toss only to be very well caught by a diving Jake Carder at midwicket.

Root also got little further than 50 before he holed out off Fallins to deep mid-off, thus missing his opportunity to bat after dinner.