James Vince again flattered before throwing his wicket away for 25 as England made 233-5 on the first day of the final Ashes Test at Sydney.

Vince and Mark Stoneman both impressed briefly and then frustrated too, as they have for so much of a flawed campaign.

There was some crisp timing from opener Stoneman until he was caught-behind on the back foot off Pat Cummins.

Then Vince repeated the dose, one pull in front of square off Cummins an especially memorable shot only for another of his stylish cameos to be cut abruptly short when he went to cut the same bowler and also edged behind.

With 224 runs at 28,Vince is the worst-performing batsman of the series.

He now has 411 runs at 22.83 from 11 Tests with his place under scrutiny ahead of the two-Test series in New Zealand in March.

But despite Vince’s latest dismissal, England were still on course to finish the day on top before losing two late wickets, having at one stage been 228-3.

Joe Root, who won the toss, again failed to convert 50 into a century.

On his return to the ground where he was dropped as a novice batsman at the end of England’s 5-0 Ashes whitewash four years ago, Root (83) played admirably until he flicked a catch to square-leg in Mitchell Starc’s first over with the second new ball eight minutes before stumps.

It ended a hard-working stand of 133 between the captain and Dawid Malan (55no), which was then undermined when Jonny Bairstow also fell caught-behind to Josh Hazlewood’s last ball of the day, after deciding against using Hampshire's Mason Crane as a nightwatchman.

Hampshire Chronicle:

Mason Crane receives his England cap

Root’s trademark frailty extended his sequence of 50s without centuries to 16 out of the last 19 occasions in Tests - an aggravating statistic for one of the world’s best batsmen.

England badly needed him to stay put as they seek a consolation victory to restrict the series defeat to 3-1 - having faltered to 95-3, before Root and Malan focused their minds on a flat pitch.

Earlier, Alastair Cook (39) was lbw to Josh Hazlewood, five short of 12,000 career runs, after a Steve Smith review.