After another great day for England, read our best bets for Saturday at Old Trafford.
After another fantastic day for England, read our best bets for the fourth day at Old Trafford.
Jonny Bairstow’s unbeaten 99 and half-centuries from both Ben Stokes and Harry Brook helped England to 592 all out in their first innings on day three, giving them a lead of 275 runs.
Bairstow and James Anderson, who was the last man to fall, put on 66 for the last wicket in just eight overs to boost the total and further increase the mountain the Aussies had to climb.
Mark Wood, just as he was in the third Test victory at Headingley, was the star with the ball as he dismissed Usman Khawaja for 18 to leave the visitors 32-1 in reply.
Chris Woakes, another hero from the triumph in West Yorkshire, then had David Warner (28) chop on to his stumps before Wood then got the prize wicket of Steve Smith (15) to reduce Australia to 97-3.
Eager for more wickets in the final 40 minutes of the day at Old Trafford, Wood then removed Travis Head (1) with a brilliant short-pitched delivery that the batter lobbed up to Ben Duckett at gully.
Marnus Labuschagne (44) and Mitchell Marsh (1) managed to see out the remaining overs to reach the close of play on 113-4, still trailing by 162 runs.
With heavy rain and a potential washout expected on Saturday, England’s hopes are likely to rest on the final day although showers are still predicted on Sunday.
Fourth Test day four betting tips
It is always a risk trusting the weather forecast in England, but the chances of no play on Saturday are very high, while there is likely to be a reduced amount of playing time on Sunday.
Australia, who only need a draw to retain the Ashes, will be begging the heavens to stay open over the weekend and they may just get their wish.
It would be a cruel way for England’s hopes of regaining the urn going up in smoke, but going down 2-0 in the series after the first two Tests looks like it will hurt them and the draw is the value play here.
Marnus Labuschagne Over 79.5 runs
A vital part to Australia drawing this Test is the innings of Labuschagne, who was unbeaten on 44 at the close of play on Friday and who looks to be up for the fight.
The 29-year-old has been relatively scare-free in his second innings and his determined performance could help inspire the Aussies, who need him to stay in for as long as possible.
It is likely Labuschagne will have little batting to do on Saturday, so he can recharge the batteries in preparation for Sunday’s play and what awaits him.
With just 36 runs required to go past 79.5 runs in his second innings, the 21/20 on the batter to achieve this looks like the betting route to go down.