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Fifth Ashes Test Day 3 In-Play Update - England on the brink of levelling the series

Cricketer Jack Leach
Jack Leach should get plenty of turn on this fourth day pitch
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Australia must pull off a run chase akin to England's Headingley miracle to prevent an England win. Paul Krishnamurty doubts they'll get close...

"I'm very much an unders backer...in expectation of those early wickets and conditions getting harder. Archer could be devastating with uneven bounce and Jack Leach will get plenty of turn."

Lay Australia to score 250 or more runs 6u @ [1.8]
Lay Australia to score 200 or more runs 5u @ [1.4]

Latest score: England 294 & 313-8, Australia 225

Match Odds: England [1.18], Australia [7.0], Draw [55.0]

After so many close finishes, there is an argument to be made that England winning the final test would represent a just outcome.

Australia deserve to retain The Ashes, having definitely been the better side and player of the series Steve Smith certainly deserves it. But England have played their part and it would be fitting for their star player to decisively impact the finale.

Jofra Archer already has six wickets and could well finish the match with ten. England have almost two full days to bowl out Australia and it is hard to see any other result.

Aussies need Headingley-style miracle

Having said halfway through the Headingley miracle that England didn't have a prayer, I'm loathe to completely write off Australia.

The scale of their task cannot be overstated though. Even if England fail to add a single run for their final two wickets when play resumes, the target equates to the seventh highest successful run chase in the fourth innings of a test. 400 has been breached a couple of times in drawn matches, if not since 1979.

In theory, 400 is chaseable given there is so much time, with two or three big contributions. With a good start, their odds could crash from [7.0] - over-reactions are frequent in tests.

Early wickets could kill their hopes

There is very little prospect of that good start materialising though. David Warner is having a nightmare series and Marcus Harris is playing with split webbing in his left hand. I expect those early wickets will leave a near-impossible task and Aussie heads will soon go down.

So far as the two previous bets on Australia and laying England are concerned, I'm solely interested in damage limitation. Taking what feels like an unimaginable draw out of the equation, my position is 12 units to win 24 - in effect [3.0] about Australia. I will be delighted to get out at [4.0] and take a three unit hit.

A better position involves Test Match End, where we're on Day 4 Evening at [5.2] - its now [2.8]. I'm now adding Day 4 Afternoon at [8.0] - the combined position is now effectively 5 units to win 11 (3.2].

England to wrap up victory quickly

Two new markets to consider are Top Australia 2nd Innings Batsman and Australia 2nd Innings Runs.

I'm very much an unders backer in the latter, in expectation of those early wickets and conditions getting harder. Archer could be devastating with uneven bounce and Jack Leach will get plenty of turn. Lay 250 plus at [1.8] and 200 plus at [1.4].

Naturally Smith is favourite to top-score at [2.5] - a price that will never interest me in such a market, irrespective of the statistical legitimacy. He can't win every time!

When expecting a low score, it generally pays to take bigger odds about the middle order. Lets try the skipper Tim Paine at 20/1.


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Paul Krishnamurty,

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