Ashes Day Three Tips: Keep betting against the draw

Dawid Malan
Malan is 9/2 for top England bat

Ed Hawkins argues that a wearing pitch and improving weather forecast makes the stalemate a solid in-play lay at the SCG...

"The downpours and constant interruptions just didn't occur and the forecast is much better than stalemate odds suggest. Two of the last three days should be clear of rain."

England hold their own

Normal Ashes service has resumed. England closed day one bang in the game. At the end of the day two they are under huge pressure after conceding 416.

Not that the match odds market seems to have caught up. Australia remain as big as 2.588/5 with the draw 1.664/6. England are 65.064/1 from 18.50 which just highlights how bad their day was.

Ordinarily when already exposed on the draw we would not be laying again at that price. But it's worth an exception. There is plenty of time left in this Test, and, indeed, plenty of time to make up for lost overs. There are a scheduled 98 overs on each of the last three days.

The downpours and constant interruptions just didn't occur and the forecast is much better than stalemate odds suggest. Two of the last three days should be clear of rain.

Weather forecast
Day three:
Only a 10% chance of rain throughout
Day four: Expect interruptions from the afternoon session
Day five: Possible delayed start due to rain but from 11.00 a 10% chance of rain throughout

If the formbook holds (remember Australia have averaged a wicket every 7.3 overs in the series) then the draw could well be odds-against by the end of the day.

Worryingly for England, who had Zak Crawley reprieved when edging to David Warner off a Mitchell Starc no-ball late on, there are signs the pitch is getting harder already.

Stat of the day

Analyst firm CricViv keep a careful eye on what the pitch is up to. And it's not good for England. The higher number the harder it is for batters to judge on length.

As you can see, there are significant differences by session relative to the day, suggesting that the surface is deteriorating quite quickly. By the fourth innings it could be very difficult indeed.

Bounce Inconsistency
Day 1, Session 1 - 5.3
Day 1, Session 2 - 5.5
Day 1, Session 3 - 5.4
Day 2, Session 1 - 7.1
Day 2, Session 2 - 8.4

Stat of the day

Haseeb Hameed is battling hard for England but it just appears to be a matter of time before Australia get him out. His runs are available to short at 10/11 with Sportsbook at 15.5.

Hameed's low hands, such an asset on slow, low pitches, are an impediment Down Under. He is constantly trying to ride the ball or forcing the bat down on the ball. Peculiarly, he is standing further and further back in his crease, missing out on scoring options, but also meeting the ball at its highest. Surely he should be trying to get as far forward as possible?

England's innings runs are available at over/under 248.5 at 10/11. Busting the mark would be their second-highest score of the series.

Joe Root and Dawid Malan are 6/4 and 9/2 for top England bat and 13/8 and 9/4 for a fifty respectively. Root is 11/2 for his first ton in Australia. You can bet the markets here.

Ashes series day wins tally
Australia 11.5 England 1.5

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