Aussies on the brink of retaining the Ashes

England are on the brink of defeat in the Old Trafford Test with Australia short odds-on for a final day victory and Paul Krishnamurty doesn't have much hope for home supporters…

“At some stage a spate of wickets will fall cheaply and I will lay a pair England runs totals – 200 or more at evens and 150 or more at short odds-on.”

Latest score: Australia 497-8 dec & 186-6 dec, England 301 & 18-2

Match Odds: England [55.0], Australia [1.23], Draw [5.7]

Once again, England's hopes of regaining the Ashes are hanging by a thread. With eight second wickets remaining, they must survive the entire day to save a draw. Another Headingley style miracle chase is all but out of the equation but merely survival would require a similar level of heroics.

Can they do it? I'm really not convinced. Losing both Rory Burns and Joe Root – two of the stronger batsmen in an erratic line-up – last night was a hammer blow.

In fact, the scenario I laid out yesterday is very close to fruition. England scored nine less than forecast, and Australia declared 14 runs short of 200 in order to get a crack at those late wickets.

I've already advised a pair of bets – the Test to finish in the afternoon session of day five and Australia to win – and I am happy with those positions and will not be covering with any other wagers.

The worry for that first bet at least may be that England collapse under the pressure and are all out early on today. With the wicket deteriorating, batting looks extremely difficult with plenty of turn and uneven bounce. Nathan Lyon will be more of a factor in the second innings.

At some stage a spate of wickets will fall cheaply and I will lay a pair England runs totals – 200 or more at evens and 150 or more at short odds-on.

Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty

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