Powerful tail can wag England to useful last Ashes stand


Australia are a whopping 1/16 with Ladbrokes to win the last Ashes Test against England going into the fourth and what’s likely to be final day, but the bookies have plenty of markets still alive at the Oval.

After skittling the hosts in their first innings for 149, having put 481 on the board themselves, Michael Clarke and co aren’t ripping through England as easily since forcing them to follow on, with Alastair Cook’s men on 203-6 going into Day 4.

The home captain atoned for his first-innings 22 with a knock of 85 before falling to an Adam Voges catch after 334 minutes at the crease, while Jos Buttler’s 33 not out is making up for the Lancashire wicket-keeper’s sole run on Friday.

With Chris Wood currently partnering Buttler, and both Stuart Broad and Moeen Ali still to come, England look a fair bet at 5/6 to pass 280.5 runs before the inevitable occurs.

Night-watchman Wood managed 24 off 41 balls in his first-innings hour, making him England’s second highest scorer behind Moeen’s 30.

Considering the improvement in England’s second-innings scoring, with four of the fallen six bettering their earlier knocks, clearing 280 just about looks on the cards.

Moeen has posted 30, 38, 59 and 39 in four of his past five innings, numbers only marred by a duck during Australia’s convincing second-Test triumph at Lord’s, while potential man-of-the-series Broad has yet to make his mark on this match at all.

The man who claimed a remarkable wicket haul of 8-15 last time out at Trent Bridge didn’t manage one during the Aussies’ south-London innings, and failed to score on Friday thanks to another Voges catch, but Broad’s four immediately previous batting figures read 24 not out, 31, 25 and 21.

Combine all four of these useful scorers together and the smart money says England’s tail will wag, at least for a while.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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