English centurion Dawid Malan and plucky Mark Stoneman have produced Test-best knocks on a rare day of dominance over Australia.

England are 305-4 at stumps on Thursday's opening day of the third Test at Perth's WACA Ground, with Malan posting a maiden Test ton and Stoneman making a half-century.

Malan (110no) and Stoneman (56) eclipsed their previous highest Test scores with only paceman Mitchell Starc (2-79) taking multiple wickets.

England No.6 Jonny Bairstow (75no) also blunted Australia's bowlers, whose main successes came in a brutal burst of short-pitched bowling.

Advertisement

Read more:
Ashes: No evidence of fixing, says International Cricket Council after newspaper sting
As it happened: Third Ashes test, Australia v England, day one
Cricket: Colin de Grandhomme ruled out of Black Caps squad

Stoneman copped a fearsome blow on the helmet as Australia's trio of quicks - Starc, Josh Hazlewood (1-62) and Pat Cummins (1-60) - literally went for the jugular in the middle session.

Hazlewood struck Stoneman with a vicious short ball but the England opener, after receiving medical checks and a fresh helmet, continued batting - and became an unwitting victim in a day-one flashpoint.

Stoneman tried to fend off a head-high Starc delivery which the Australians maintained brushed a glove en route to wicketkeeper Tim Paine, who leapt high and, at full stretch, caught the ball with one hand.

Umpire Marais Erasmus gave Stoneman not out but the Australians reviewed, with one replay appearing to show the ball brushed the English opener's glove which wasn't holding the bat.

When replays using noise technology indicated a sound, television umpire Aleem Dar gave Stoneman out.

As Stoneman trudged off, English skipper Joe Root Root appeared at the changeroom door and seemingly urged him to stay on the field.

But after initially hesitating, Stoneman walked off - a later replay from a different angle showed the correct call was made as the ball flicked the opener's glove which was holding his bat.

Stoneman's demise left England 131-4 - they had slipped from relative pre-lunch comfort of 89-1.

But the London-born Malan, who aged seven moved to South Africa for 11 years before returning to England, and Bairstow then figured in a pivotal unbroken partnership of 174 runs.

The stand was punctuated by Malan, on 92, being dropped at third slip by Cameron Bancroft from Starc's first delivery with the second new ball.

Bancroft's blunder was one of three dropped catches - Mitchell Marsh, recalled at Peter Handscomb's expense, and Nathan Lyon also turfed opportunities.

Malan scored England's first ton this series - and the nation's first in Australia since the now-suspended Ben Stokes four years ago - as they seek to stay alive in the Ashes.

Australia hold a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.