Hmmm, interesting. England batted very quickly and have turned the heat right on Australia. Time for an update on our scenarios with 1 day to go.
Australia 263 & 88/2 (28.0 ov)
Australia trail by 25 runs with 8 wickets remaining. There are 96 overs scheduled to be bowled if you count the change in innings. The forecast is looking good now for tomorrow. So the million dollar question is how long do Australia need to bat to prevent defeat?
Let's assume they continue at their current run rate (3.14).
Australia last another 50 overs, scoring 157 runs leaving a target of 133 for England from 46 overs @ 2.89 runs per over. England would win.
Australia last another 60 overs, scoring 188 runs leaving a target of 164 for England from 36 overs @ 4.56 runs per over. England would probably win.
Australia last another 65 overs, scoring 204 runs leaving a target of 180 for England from 31 overs @ 5.81 runs per over. Tricky run chase, possibly a 50/50 chance.
Australia last another 70 overs, scoring 220 runs leaving a target of 196 for England from 26 overs @ 7.54 runs per over. Match would probably be drawn.
So at their current rate Australia would probably need to last close to 70 overs to make the game safe. However let's say they score faster than their current rate of 3.14:
At 3.50, if they bat for 65 overs, scoring 228 runs leaving a target of 204 for England from 31 overs @ 6.58 runs per over. This only makes the chase slightly tougher for England.
At 4.00, if they bat for 65 overs, scoring 260 runs leaving a target of 236 for England from 31 overs @ 7.61 runs per over. This probably puts the target out of reach of England.
At 4.00 if they only bat for 60 overs, scoring 240 runs this would leave England to score 216 from 36 overs @ 6.00 runs per over which would again possibly be a 50/50 type chase.
At 4.50 if they batted for 60 overs, scoring 270 runs, England would then need 246 from 36 overs @ 6.83 runs per over, again probably putting the target out of reach.
Going to the other end of the spectrum, if Australia decide to bat really slowly at 2.50, even if they batted for 70 overs scoring 175 runs, England would still then only need 151 runs from the remaining 26 overs @ 5.81 runs per over, which they would probably achieve with a target that small.
Providing no weather interruptions Australia will need to survive for at least another 60-70 more overs (with 8 wickets in hand and without their series top run scorer Brad Haddin or captain Ponting) to save the game depending on the run rate they maintain. So time is the main issue. It's been a long time since Australia had to bat purely to save a game in this fashion with no prospect of winning. The pressure will truly be on and should make for riveting viewing. If the ball swings again I feel they are a goner. If it's sunny skies and doesn't swing it will still be touch and go as the spinner Swann will probably snare a couple too. We await.