England took control of their final Ashes warm-up match against an Australia Invitational XI after Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow's 106-run sixth wicket stand in Sydney.

Root (75) and Bairstow (48) took the tourists past the Invitational XV's first innings score of 304, before Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann added late runs as England were bowled out for 418.

The showing will have come as a particular relief to Root - who required treatment after a blow to the hand during his innings - and Bairstow, both of whom are seemingly competing for the final batting spot with Michael Carberry likely to open.

With a lead of 114 runs, England made early inroads with the ball as Broad, Swann, Steven Finn and Boyd Rankin all took wickets, to leave the hosts 153 for 4, 39 runs ahead going into the fourth and final day.

After rain disrupted the tour match against Australia A, England's players have enjoyed decent practise going into next week's first test in Brisbane and will be hoping to pick up a moral boosting win.

Bairstow said: "It was fantastic to get some time out in the middle. Obviously it's great in the nets but in a match situation nothing quite replicates batting in the middle in game situations.

"To get that opportunity is something that is important. To put things that I've been working on into practise in a game situation is key and is very important.

"We like to think we can go on and push for a result, hopefully in the positive but it's not going to be without work. It's not going to be an easy task."

Alastair Cook's side are chasing a fourth series win for the first time for 123 years but are facing fitness concerns over Matt Prior, who is undergoing intensive treatment on a calf problem.

Kevin Pietersen made 57 on day two to continue his recovery from a long-standing knee issue, while Cook himself is said to be suffering a back injury but has played a full-part in proceedings this week.