Australia's Pat Cummins appeals with team mates for LBW to dismiss England's Joe Root during the first day of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane on Thursday (November 23).Reuters/David Gray

Australia fought back with two late wickets to restrict England to 196/4 on the first day of the  Ashes Test series-opener at the Gabba, Brisbane, on Thursday, November 23.

Ashes debutantes Mark Stoneman and James Vince frustrated Australia's vaunted pace attack with a 125-run partnership on a slow Gabba wicket but seamer Pat Cummins hauled the home side back in the game.

The young paceman bowled Stoneman for 53 in the last over before tea and then returned to capture England captain Joe Root via lbw for 15, leaving Moeen Ali and Dawid Malan to negotiate a nervy finish to stumps.

Spinner Nathan Lyon denied Vince a potentially career-defining century with a brilliant piece of fielding, running him out for 83 after nearly four hours of pain-staking graft.

Vince's wicket seemed like a turning point and though Root dug in for 50 balls, he was out lbw by a scorching delivery from Cummins, the wicket awarded after home captain Steve Smith demanded a review of Marais Erasmus's not out decision.

Australia's captain Steve Smith reacts as the umpires call the end of the first day's play.Reuters/David Gray

Australia lost a review trying to remove Malan lbw in the last over before play was halted due to poor light.

England had won the toss and had elected to bat

While the Gabba wicket showed a green tinge, Smith said he too would have batted first and his fast men rarely threatened early, struggling to extract much pace or movement off the seam in the morning.

The exception was a peach of a delivery from paceman Mitchell Starc which moved away slightly from Alastair Cook and kissed the outside edge on the way to Handscomb in the slips.

Smith earlier confirmed opener David Warner and Shaun Marsh would play after they suffered neck and back strains in recent days.

(with Reuters inputs)

Day 1 brief scores at stumps

England: 196/4 (80.3 overs)

Top performers

JM Vince: 83 runs (170 balls)

MD Stoneman: 53 runs (159 balls)

Pat Cummins: 2/59 (19 overs)