Third Ashes Test Day 2 In-Play Update: Archer rips through Australia


Latest score: Australia 179 all out

According to the latest Betfair odds, England are rated 75% likely to win the first test and level up the series, thanks to another scintillating Jofra Archer spell of 6-45. It didn't always look that way on a surprisingly wet opening day.

Australia suffer the worst of conditions

Without their talisman Steve Smith, Australia were always going to face an uphill struggle after being put into bat under overcast skies. After a couple of early losses and rain delays, David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne made a fine fist of it, putting on 111 for the third wicket.

At that point they were [2.02] favourites for the match but once Warner went for 61, it was one way traffic. Six Aussies contributed two or less. This bet advised on Twitter after the toss won with plenty to spare.

What happens next? If the same overhead conditions materialise, Australia certainly have the bowlers to get back in the game but the latest Met Office forecast suggests otherwise. As Ed Hawkins noted in his preview, batting can become easy at Headingley when the sun comes out.

Over recent decades, there have been many 400, 500, even 600 plus scores in Headingley tests. Runs tend to come very quickly. Two years ago we saw 1239 runs on the last four days against Windies. Last year England put on 363 batting second, after skittling Pakistan for 174.

England fair value to pass 300

Were it not for England's vulnerable top-order, I'd be confident about them getting something similar in tomorrow's better conditions. That is to some extent factored into the odds, with [2.5] available about 300 or more 1st Innings Runs.

I'll start with a small bet on that and 350 or more at [3.5] now but, in the probable scenario of early wickets, may well press up at lower bands. They were on for 350 before declaring in the second innings at Lords and I reckon we'll see at least one major contribution from either Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler or Jonny Bairstow.

Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty

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