Latest score: Australia 209-4
Match Odds: Australia 1.68/13, England 5.79/2, Draw 4.94/1
One-nil down, with a particularly daunting visit to Perth awaiting next, it would not be exaggerating to describe the second Ashes test as a must-win for England. It started well enough with Joe Root winning the toss and there were moments when Australia looked vulnerable but, at the end of play, it will be the hosts that felt happier.
If the betting trajectory is a guide, that Australian edge is only marginal. Their outright odds have only shortened marginally while England are only a point bigger than they were after the toss. Joe Root's men are certainly still well in this match but there's no doubt they missed an opportunity yesterday.
When you put a team in to bat in overcast conditions, knowing they will have to survive an evening session with a pink ball under lights, four wickets is a disappointing return. On the plus side, Steve Smith and David Warner are gone and it is possible they could regain momentum in the morning by taking wickets with a brand new ball. However conceding anything beyond 300 represents a win for the Aussies by my estimation.
The key factor is those evening sessions and it is England's turn to endure it tonight. After the way they collapsed twice in Brisbane, that does not bode well. This pitch also seems strangely slow by Aussie standards so even 300 may yet represent a good total.
I fully expect this test to result in an Australian victory but, so far as finding the trading value is concerned, my thoughts haven't changed much since the early exchanges. Very early during the first session, I tweeted an opening bet on England at 4.84/1 and that advice still applies at the slightly bigger 5.79/2.
Simply, there is plenty of trading mileage in those odds. I expect this to be a relatively low-scoring match, with the draw gone from the equation by the final two days. England will bat last and be set a target. If less than, say 400, they'll probably be shorter than 5.79/2. Sub-250 and they would be favourites. In the short-term a good session bowling the Aussies out for sub-300, then not losing an early wicket, could see these odds fall below 3.02/1. They did in the first test, despite the one-sided result.
Finally a quick update on plans for this other runs bet advised in-running last night, on Australia getting 375 or more runs. My hope was that the par-line would rise to around 425 or 450, at which point I would go unders on the higher band, thus reducing the risk and meaning both bets could win. Par is currently slightly below 375 so let's see how the first hour turns out and decide the next move in play. When updating the position, I will mention it live via the @BetfairExchange feed.
Back England to win the 2nd Test 4u @ 5.79/2
Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty and follow his live Ashes commentary @BetfairExchange