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Ashes Second Test Day 5 Tips: England's dream remains alive but is their tail up to the task?

Nathan Lyon is tipped to make a decisive impact
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A miraculous England comeback is very much in play entering the final day of an unforgettable test. Their odds have already collapsed from 79/1 to below 3/1 but can they pull it off? Paul Krishnamurty remains unconvinced...

"These ambitious fourth-innings chases tend to end with a spate of wickets falling in a heap, regardless of which countries are involved."

Lay (oppose) England to score 300 or more 2nd Innings Runs 5u @ [1.9]

After enjoying their best day of the series by far, England stand a realistic chance of completing one of the greatest comebacks in test match history. Traders on Betfair markets had earlier rated their chances of winning at barely more than 1% but their odds have crashed over the last four sessions, from a peak of [80.0] to a low of [2.76] (36%). They start the final day at [3.85] (26%).

Needing another 178 runs for victory with six wickets in hand, they certainly remain underdogs. However with each step towards the target, England's odds will shorten and there's no reason why they shouldn't start well. There are 18 overs until the new ball. If Joe Root and Chris Woakes can survive that spell adding fifty-odd, they will become favourites.

A further positive for England is that the final session under lights will be less of a factor than expected, if at all. Given how quickly their middle-order scores, two full sessions is likely enough to produce a result.

The target is stiff, yet realistic given the quality of batsmen left. Any one of Root, Moeen Ali or Jonny Bairstow are capable of providing the bulk of 176 in these conditions. The latter pair frequently contribute that amount with the tail - in England at least.

History, particularly of England tours, points to a less optimistic scenario. The highest run-chase ever at Adelaide is 315. Only one team has ever previously won after conceding a 200-run first innings deficit. Only one has ever lost having declined to enforce the follow-on. These ambitious fourth-innings chases tend to end with a spate of wickets falling in a heap, regardless of which countries are involved.

If Australia make an early breakthrough and Nathan Lyon in particular settles into a good rhythm, they could run through England cheaply. Apart from Woakes and Craig Overton's combined 77 - the turning point of this match - England's last four batsmen have contributed only 62 runs in three innings.

We have seen this movie so many times before and must stick with the successful strategy from those previous England failures. 300 still seems a long way off and worth laying in our England 2nd Innings Runs market at [1.9]. If you want to back an even worse collapse, 275 plus can be laid at [1.5].

That said, I'm open-minded regarding the Match Odds. I can certainly see England resuming their chance in confident fashion and looking all set for the first half hour or so. If Australia drift above say [1.6], that would be a more tempting proposition than [1.35] now. If the price feels right, I'll announce it in our live coverage on Twitter. Set your alarm for 3am UK time - this could be something special!


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Lay (oppose) England to score 300 or more 2nd Innings Runs 5u @ [1.9]


Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty and follow his live Ashes commentary @BetfairExchange

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