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Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Battling batsmen blunt England attack

Lower order could strengthen Aussies' position in Adelaide

England debutant Craig Overton dismissed Steve Smith before Australia rallied on day one
1 of 1

Australia v England: day two
BT Sport 1, 3.30am Sunday

With England 1-0 down in the series, Joe Root won the toss in Adelaide and made the bold decision to bowl first in the inaugural day-night Ashes Test.

Root's punt didn't quite pay off, however, as Australia battled their way to 209-4 by stumps on day one, leaving England 5-1 to win the match, from 11-4 before the toss.

The Aussies have hardened from 4-6 to 4-7 to take a 2-0 lead in the five-Test series while the draw shortened from 5-1 to 7-2 after nine overs were lost to rain.

England failed to make the best use of the new pink ball and their breakthrough came courtesy of a direct hit from Chris Woakes to run out Cameron Bancroft.

Things could have been worse for the tourists as Australia's big three all got in but David Warner (47), Usman Khawaja (53) and Steve Smith (40) failed to capitalise on their starts.

Smith was a maiden Test victim for debutant Craig Overton, who replaced Jake Ball in the only change to either 11, and his exit left the hosts precariously placed at 161-4.

But Peter Handscomb, who made 54 in his first Test innings in the day-night clash with South Africa at Adelaide last year, and Shaun Marsh steered Australia to a solid position by the close of play.

As in the first Test at Brisbane, batsmen found it difficult to cut loose and Australia's runs came at a pedestrian rate of 2.58 per over.

England's tactic of frustrating the dangerous Smith paid off when he chopped a delivery from Overton on to his stumps and Handscomb and Marsh will resume against a pink ball that is only one over old.

Bet365 quote Australia's runs line at 362.5 but you can get 4-5 with Sky Bet about the home side amassing 350 or more in their first innings.

Much depends on Handscomb and Marsh but they could find scoring a little easier against the hard new ball and England struggled to finish off the tail in the first match of the series.

Wicketkeeper Tim Paine, the next man in, scored a half-century against England in the day-night warm-up game at the Adelaide Oval while Mitchell Starc has scored nine fifties, including a 99, in 56 Test innings and Pat Cummins batted impressively for his 42 at the Gabba.

In Friday's Racing Post, Josh Hazlewood and Dawid Malan were tipped to star for their sides in England's first innings.

Recommendation
Australia to score 350 or more first-innings runs
2pt 4-5 Sky Bet

Already advised in Racing Post Sport
J Hazlewood top Australia first-innings wicket-taker
1pt 5-2 Betfred, BoyleSports, Hills
D Malan top England first-innings runscorer
1pt 8-1 bet365


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Handscomb and Marsh could find scoring a little easier against the hard new ball and England struggled to finish off the tail in the first Test
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