Australia v England Ashes Day 2 Tips: Ton-up Marnus

Steve Smith
Smith is 13/8 for a fifty

In his first morning report on the Ashes, Ed Hawkins has the best in-play wagers on day two from Brisbane after England were blown away for 147

(0.5pts) Back M Labuschagne first-innings ton 6.05/1

England blown away

One ball. That's how long it took for pre-series aspirations to be punctured that this contest Down Under between old enemies might, just might, be different.

They say that Australia-England clashes are decided in the first session. And when Rory Burns was dismissed by Mitchell Starc's loosener it gave a potential isnight into England's mindset, suggesting this is going to be a very shortlived competitive heat.

Burns, bizarrely, wobbled across his stumps to put his front foot on about fifth off-stump and was castled.
In the first hour it was one of only two 'off target' balls by Australia, who produced one of the most disciplined and aggressive (in terms of unwavering accuracy) openings you are ever likely to see.

It means Australia, from a post-toss 1.8910/11, are now no better than 1.241/4. England are 13.50 and the draw is 8.07/1. The market is here.

How many do Australia get?

England's misery was confounded when they were denied the opportunity to have a bowl in the late-day gloom. They were perfect conditions to hit back.

The day two forecast might keep England keen. There is a 60% chance of rain from 09.00 at The Gabba. But even so, the portents are not good.

What has happened so far is entirely typical. Australia and their opponents often seem to be playing on different surfaces.

Australia average 405 in their first match innings at the venue, their rivals just 233.
As Mike Hussey said on commentary the best time to bat at Brisbane is "day two after the shine of the new ball has gone".

Clearly, Australia's innings runs is going to be an attractive market. And it is sold on the narrative that the Aussies dominate. There are lays available at 350 or more and 3.25 or more at 2.021/1 and 1.715/7 respectively.

Although a score of more than 300 doesn't keep England in the game, there is probably enough in the surface and through the air that suggests those are value. The market is here.

Stat of the day


Before lunch there was 0.7 degrees of swing. After lunch it dropped to 0.3, suggesting that the Kookaburra ball is reliable as ever.

Labuschagne long

It's Steve Smith versus Marnus Labuschagne for top Australia runscorer honours. Smith is 5/2 favourite with Labuschagne 3/1

From the numbers below you can see that both men are value on win rates. But it might pay to look at the century and fifty markets instead of pitting the two against each other.

Both are 13/8 for first-innings fifties with Smith 7/2 and Labuschagne 5/1 for a century. Labuschagne has a 27.7% hit rate on the latter and is worth an interest. Sportsbook prices are here.

Top Australia runscorer wins/matches last 3 years
Warner 1/12
Harris 3/10
Labuschagne 5/16
Smith 5/13
Head 3/17

Robinson one to watch

England's decision not pick James Anderson or Stuart Broad for the first time in a Test match since time began is a baffler. Not least for our confidence in finding a winner for top England bowler.

The figures below are all skewed by the fact that Anderson and Broad were playing in most of them. But if prices do come up again with Sportsbook, a gamble on Ollie Robinson may be the pick.

Even with one from Anderson and Broad in the team, he represented value. He is their best bowler. Think Josh Hazlewood but with a Margate drawl.

Top England wicket-taker wins/matches last three years
Woakes 1/13
Wood 2/9
Robinson 2/5
Leach 0/12

Ed Hawkins P-L

2021: +29.01
2020: +5.91
2019: +37.25pts
2018: +23.53pts
2017: +12pts
2016: +18.1pts
2015: +38pts
2014: +31.5pts
2013: +25pts
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. Includes Hawk-Eye column p-l

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