Ben Stokes
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Expect early England wicket to fall on final day of third Ashes Test

| 16.12.2013

Among the more memorable lyrics of the Nina Simone song Feeling Good is “it’s a new day, it’s a new dawn”, but this couldn’t be more untrue when considering how the fifth day will start for England in the third Ashes Test.

England begin the fifth day needing 253 runs for victory and Australia needing five wickets to regain the Ashes with two Tests to spare.

It is 9/1 that England break the record of the highest fourth innings run chase in history to triumph at the WACA, with Australia understandable 1/16 favourites.

One common trait for England in the series so far has been an inability to add too many runs in a morning session after remaining at the crease overnight.

In the four instances that it has happened in the series so far, England have only added over 22 runs to their overnight total once, which was back in the first Test when Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen showed signs of a second innings reprieve, although this was eventually short lived.

With England currently on 251/5 and the line for the fall of the next wicket drawn at 277, Ben Stokes and Matt Prior need to put on at least another 26 runs to land the bet.

It is 5/6 that England score less than 277 before losing their sixth wicket and the same price that they score more, and based on the series so far, preference has to be for the former, especially with the Australian bowlers beginning the fifth morning refreshed and pumped up.

Another market available is the dismissal method of England’s sixth wicket, with caught the clear favourite at 2/5. Given that Prior has been caught in all of his innings so far and Stokes all barring one, this looks a reasonable bet.