London: England wasted an opportunity to convert good start into a big score as they reduced to 307 for eight in the fifth and final Test at the oval on Thursday.
Peter Siddle grabbed four crucial England wickets as Australia moved closer towards retaining the Ashes.
Despite the early loss of Cook, England got off to a good start as captain Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell shared a partnership of 102 runs to take their score to 114/1 at one stage.
Ian Bell batted hard for 72 but failed to claim a maiden Ashes hundred in his 13th Test against Australia. England captain Strauss completed an 89-ball fifty featuring 10 fours although replays suggested he too had been dismissed off a no-ball.
Jonathan Trott, who made his Test debut, looked good in compiling 41 before he was spectacularly run out by Simon Katich while Strauss fell for 55.
Sadly for England fans, Andrew Flintoff - in his last Test before an injury-induced retirement - barely got going before he was caught behind off left-arm quick Mitchell Johnson for seven.
Siddle, who took a trio of top-order wickets, ended play for the day when he had Graeme Swann caught behind, the fast bowler finish with figures of four for 63 in 18.3 overs.
Bell fell to his first ball after tea when he played on to Siddle with a large gap between bat and pad.
His innings spanned 137 balls with 10 fours in nearly four hours but his exit left England wobbling at 181 for four after Strauss, England's only century-maker this series with 161 in their second Test win at Lord's, had chosen to bat first on a typically good Oval pitch.