Latest score: England 403, Australia 203-3
Match Odds: Australia 2.14, England 5.7, Draw 2.74
On the bare numbers, this Ashes series has been relatively dull and predictable. It may even be settled with two matches to spare. Yet every test, and pretty much every day of the series, has been packed with momentum swings and exciting, volatile betting. In each, all three results were very much in play throughout, with the odds closely matched.
That's precisely the state of play after two days in Perth. In this case, the drama was the result of one record-breaking 237 partnership - the highest ever by England on Australian soil. When Jonny Bairstow joined Dawid Malan at the crease, Australia were red-hot 1.46 favourites. Before eventually taking the prized wicket of Malan, they were matched at 12.5.
Otherwise, it has basically been business as usual. Another spectacular fail from England's tail, losing their last six wickets for just 35 runs, produced carnage on their runs market. When they had looked on course for 525 plus, 425 or more was matched at 1.02 and the next band up at 1.07. Next Australia's batsmen made rapid headway on this easy pitch, reducing the deficit to 200, with Steve Smith ominously unbeaten on 92.
All this came as a big relief in light of my spectacularly ill-timed early bet on Australia at 1.6. For reasons explained below, however, I've not yet taken a hit by cashing out - at current odds, it would involve a 13 unit loss. The only bet advised overnight on Twitter was, as implied in yesterday's piece, backing Australia to get 400 plus runs at 1.9 - now trading at 1.3. Earlier, my sixth consecutive innings runs bet was landed when England reached 350.
So where does this leave the match? History is on England's side with over 400 already on the board but, right now at least, it doesn't look enough. Using our Australia 1st Innings Runs market as a guide, their par total is up to around 475. That would be a handy lead and at the current run-rate, would result in England batting again by the end of play tomorrow.
In that scenario, Australia will have either declared with a big lead or been bowled out. Either way, the match will be progressing very fast and the visible cracks in this pitch will be widening. The draw remains a factor, because there is some rain potential over the final two days, but it makes no more appeal than it did yesterday when laid at shorter odds. I don't see the draw odds getting shorter over the next 24 hours and, if a batch of wickets fall, it could quickly become a no-hoper.
My prediction remains Australia to go 3-0 up. They've got 20 overs to crack on against an old ball in the morning and their strong tail could tire England's bowlers out - Craig Overton's fitness is a massive concern on that front. There's no need for me to add to earlier positions but, if you're not already involved having taken earlier advice, I recommend backing Australia at 2.14 now.
Back Australia 5u @ 2.1411/10 (Does not apply to those following earlier advised bets)
Lay (oppose) the draw 8u @ 2.26
Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty and follow his live Ashes commentary @BetfairExchange