An unbeaten century from opener Chris Rogers has put Australia in the driving seat in the fourth Ashes Test, as the tourists bid to deny England a series victory.
The Aussies are 4/5 to win in Durham and take the series to a decider at the Oval, while England are now 5/2 to secure victory. The draw is a 3/1 shot.
England failed to add to their overnight total of 238, bringing Australia to the crease after just two overs of play on day two.
However the morning session was emphatically England’s, as Australia lost three wickets before lunch. Stuart Broad was England’s leading bowler, taking the wickets of Warner, Khawaja and skipper Clarke – who contributed just nine runs between them.
When Bresnan had Steve Smith caught behind Australia were 76-4, and England looked to have a strong grip on the Test; their initially maligned 238 was looking increasingly respectable on a good bowling track.
However, the introduction of Shane Watson, moved back down the order after a string of unconvincing efforts at opening the batting, saw the momentum swing back the way of the tourists. He and Rogers put on 129 runs for the fifth wicket, showing the patience and application required in Test cricket; the tourists had been rejuvenated in a match that looked to be slipping away from them.
Broad eventually made the breakthrough, getting Watson caught down leg for 68, though Rogers’ century followed soon after – the opener having been stuck on 96 for what seemed like an eternity. The 35-year-old became the second oldest Australian to make a maiden Test century.
Bad light brought an end to the day’s play just before six o’clock with Darren Lehmann’s men progressing comfortably at 222-5. Rogers and Haddin will look to give Australia a significant lead on day three, and should they survive the first hour of tomorrow’s action it would become increasingly difficult to see England winning the game.
It is worth noting that three of Rogers’ six innings this series have been ended by lbw, which is a 4/1 shot with Ladbrokes. Out caught is the favoured method of dismissal at 4/9, and has happened twice to the opener this series.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing