Ashes Day Two Tips: Still time for result as England show mettle

Stuart Broad and James Anderson
Broad and Anderson have a chance to shine in the gloom

Ed Hawkins has the all-important weather forecast for Sydney and finds an in-play wager on day two...

"Similar conditions could continue to make it tricky for the batters and we have a feeling that Australia's innings runs look a little high at 351.5."

(1pt) Back under 351.5 Australia runs 1.9110/11

England hold their own

So this is what a competitive series looks like. England, for only the second day of the tour, held their own. Still, it should only be chalked down as a draw in terms of who won the day.

Australia closed on 126 for three, leaving the action finely poised.The draw remains the overwhelming favourite at 1.434/9 with the weather forecast playing spoilsport, up slightly from 1.364/11. The hosts are 4.03/1 and England 18.50.

The tourists were all smiles as they left the field for the final time on a stop-start day. Perhaps truncated cricket helps their focus or gives time for Joe Root to remind his bowlers of the right lengths (if only for rain in Adelaide, eh Joe?).

Four times play was halted and this suited England as Australia's batsmen had to reset. As a result no-one was ever quite 'in'. England broke partnerships and removed David Warner, Marcus Harris and Marnus Labuschagne just as they looked capable of doing some damage.

Similar conditions could continue to make it tricky for the batters and we have a feeling that Australia's innings runs look a little high at 351.5.

Sure, the pitch is historically flat but it is hardly ideal that there is moisture around and rhythm could be disrupted.

It is a much easier 'emotional state' to back England to do something with the ball instead of the bat. While it is hard to even put money down on them to be mediocre with the latter, with the ball they have been okay.

In Melbourne they bowled well. That performance has been repeated at the SCG, James Anderson subtly manipulating Harris for example or the extra movement they found once they got a wet ball changed.

To that end Pat Cummins catches the eye at 25s for top Australia bat. Current pair Steve Smith and Usman Khawaja are rated at 7/5 and 10/3 respectively. You can bet both over/under their runs at 42.5 and 29.5 respectively at 10/11. Khawaja rates as more attractive for overs. Bet on these markets here.

Weather plays spoilsport

Australia are averaging an England wicket every 7.3 overs in this series. So although game time was limited on day one they are unlikely to be too worried that their whitewash chance could go down the drain.

The forecast is not good but there appear to be enough breaks in the play to force a result. Day three and day five could well offer maximum overs.

Don't rule out Australia being proactive. They could well look to move the game on with early declarations (another reason why shorting their runs is not the worse idea) and are gung-ho enough to set England something in the last couple of sessions. For that reason the 18.50 may be worth a nibble.

Weather forecast
Day two: A 70% chance of rain from 10am-12pm. Dropping toi 50% from 13.00.
Day three: A clear day likely. No more than a 10% probability of rain.
Day four: Clear morning but rain rated at 60% from 14.00
Day five: Showers could delay start but clear for most of the day with small chance of further rain

The reality, though, is the draw is going to get very skinny again. It could collapse to the 1.201/5 region swiftly on the morning of day two with grey skies and covers greeting viewers.

And, of course, that means Australia and England prices tick up. So it's a watching brief. It could well prove fruitful to hold fire until day three. It would not be surprising if Australia and England were both much bigger.

Ashes series day wins tally
Australia 10.5 England 1.5

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