Ben Stokes took two wickets on his first outing since July as England continued their build-up to the Ashes.

The Cumbrian star dismissed Zak Crawley and Chris Woakes in a practice match against England Lions in Brisbane.

It saw Stokes return to action after taking a break from the game since the summer to focus on his mental well-being and to rest an injured finger.

The 30-year-old announced his comeback recently - and is in line to be at the forefront for England when the Test series starts against Australia next week.

Stokes claimed 2/31 from 10 overs as the Lions closed on 226/4, in a match delayed by two days of rain at the Ian Healy Oval.

The Cockermouth all-rounder suffered a forearm injury in a net session a few days ago as the squad continued preparations for the first Test, but brushed off fears that his Ashes preparation might be affected.

Indeed, a post on Stokes’ Instagram account on Wednesday showed him doing some work with bat and ball as he wrote: “Don’t call it a comeback. Spent some time testing out the finger with @adidasLondon last month.

“Two months ago, I couldn’t hold a bat. With one week to go till the first test, I’m fit and hungry for a big series down under!”

The first Test starts at the Gabba next Wednesday.

Meanwhile, spinner Jack Leach has suggested that the return of Stokes gave him some confidence about being selected for the side.

Leach said: “From the summer, the feedback was that Stokesy not being in the side, not having that all-round option in the top order, kind of made things difficult for me to get in the side.

“So I think having him back is great. Also having Woakes hopefully positive for being able to fit in a spinner in, for sure.”