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Fresh England fiasco hands Australia a new opportunity to gloat

“Barring miracles,” said the oracle Sir Geoffrey Boycott, after England closed day three of the Melbourne Test on top of Australia for the first time in the series, “we will win this Test match.”

By the end of day four, the tourists had given the former England opener reason to adjust his interpretation of the miraculous.

Another, now customary, batting collapse by England left Australia needing 231 runs to win. By close of play Australia were 30 for no wicket.

England’s second innings score of 179 saw their last five wickets thrown away for just six runs.

Not so much a miracle as spectacular uselessness.

For those looking to profit from the final day’s play, Australia are 1/5 to prolong a winter of boasting with another crushing win.

England are 3/1 to silence the laughter.

For those who still believe in miracles, the draw is available at 250/1.

In spite of the “Southerly Buster” blowing the rubbish (England included) around the MCG, rain is not forecast for the Melbourne area until next year.

There hasn’t been a draw in a Test at the MCG since December 1997, 15 Tests ago.

One glimmer of hope lurking in the stats for England is that only one of the last eight Tests at Melbourne has been won by the side batting last.

Elsewhere, bettors can get on whether David Warner or Chris Rogers will be the first man out on Day Five.

Both are priced at 5/6, although Rogers has been the first dismissal of the two in five of seven innings so far in the series.

Given the delight with which David Warner takes in humiliating England, it seems hard to imagine him squandering a golden opportunity to make them cringe again, whereas Rogers has been out for a low score in four of his seven innings.

The fall of Australia’s first wicket is priced at 5/6 for either side of 58.5 runs.

Australia’s first wicket fell at 19 in the first innings.

With the target for the overs 28.5 runs away it is worth bearing in mind that Australia only managed two stands of more than that in their first innings.

One was between Steve Smith and Rogers (48 runs), the second came when Brad Haddin thrashed some late runs for the tenth wicket.