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Final day of second Test set for wash-out as draw shortens to 10/11

| 06.12.2010

Ricky Ponting’s prayers seem to have been answered as thunderclouds gather over the Adelaide Oval ahead of the final day of the second Test.

With England in the ascendancy, Australia were staring down the barrel of their first second Test loss for almost 30 years, but the rain may come to the Australian’s rescue as the draw is cut to 10/11 from 1/1.

England were 8/11 to win the second Test following Kevin Pietersen’s dismissal of Michael Clarke with the last ball of the day, but Andrew Strauss’ side are on the drift as the weather looks set to interrupt proceedings and are now 4/5 to win the second Test.

With the Adelaide pitch playing flat and slow, should the rain stay away England may well still struggle to take wickets – the decision to give Pietersen the ball at the end of the day showed how desperate Strauss had become.

But while the pitch is playing like a batsman’s paradise, if England can get the wicket of Mike Hussey early then England will be well placed to complete the victory and Hussey is 5/6 to score under 74.5 runs (he is currently on 44).

Brad Haddin aside, the Australian lower order has never looked like contributing to their sides score with just 59 runs scored in this series so far.

On a pitch that is favouring the spin bowlers, Graeme Swann holds the key to an English victory and he has been given the bulk of the work to do so far in the second innings having bowled 34 overs already.

But the wicket of Hussey is crucial and should Swann maximise the turn out of the pitch, the 25/1 for Hussey’s dismissal method to be a stumping looks decent value.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.