The Ashes Day One - Betting updates and blog
The waiting is over and day one of the Ashes is finally upon us. England are aiming to win in Australia for the first time for 24 years and confidence of beating Australia on their own soil has never been higher.
You can check back here for updates of the match situation, the odds and the best in-running bets available to help you stave off the tiredness and keep the excitement going all the way through to breakfast time.
The England team: Strauss (Captain), Cook, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Collingwood, Prior, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Finn
I am confident England can win the series but would be happy with a draw (3/1) in Brisbane, which is traditionally a happy hunting ground for the Aussies. Hopefully I am wrong and The Three Lions get off to a flier, it's 2/1 for an England win, 6/5 Australia. Time will tell.
The weather in Brisbane is currently sunny with a few clouds, although some rain is forecast later. Fingers crossed it stays away.
23:10 Australian team is announced - Simon Katich, Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Marcus North, Brad Haddin (wicketkeeper), Mitchell Johnson, Xavier Doherty, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus.
The Aussies have taken a chance on Xavier Doherty, he is 11/2 to get the most wickets for Australia. I would prefer to back Ben Hilfenhaus at 5/2.
23:25 Michael Holding would bowl if he won the toss, Mike Atherton would bat. We'll find out what the captains think in five minutes! You can back either side to win the toss at evens.
23:30 England win the toss and bat!! Good start. The Three Lions now 15/8 to win. Andrew Strauss is 5/4 to score a fifty.
23:55 National Anthems done and dusted. Cook and Strauss stride out in front of a sell-out 45,000 crowd. Here the Ashes is!!! It's 5/6 England score more than 349 runs. I fancy that.
00:05 Oh dear, Strauss has gone first over and England are 0/1. Australia now odds on at 10/11.
00:20 Trott settles the nerves with a couple of boundaries. He's 7/2 to top score.
00:21 Phew, big appeal for LBW against Trott, it looked out but the umpire turns down the appeal. The video umpire holds up that decision. We got that market right, it was 1/3 that the first referred decision wouldn't be overturned.
00:35 Cook and Trott looking fairly solid. It's 17/20 England can hit 334 or more.
00:50 England 30/1. It's 17/20 for the next wicket to fall after 68 runs have been scored, lets hope so as these two continue to rebuild after that horror start.
01:00 Drinks! England 36/1 and now 15/8 to win the match. If these two can survive until lunch the visitors will be in a decent position.
1:09 Ouch! Trott bowled by Shane Watson, England 41/2.
1:20 England need to rebuild. KP is at the crease and has looked fine so far. There is talk that Xavier Doherty will come on to see if he can trouble him. We have Pietersen at 41.5 runs (over or under at 17/20)
01:40 Here he is! As predicted Doherty comes on and Pietersen knocks him away for a couple of runs. KP is 3/1 to score a century. That would be a great way to start the series.
01:50 Cook dropped on 27 by debutant Doherty. That will hurt the Aussies. Hopefully Cook can punish them by getting a big score. He's 8/13 to score a fifty.
LUNCH: 86/2 - England would have taken that after Strauss went so early. The prices suggest no one has gained a clear advantage yet, the Aussies are 11/10, England 2/1 and the draw is 5/2. I think KP is the key man, if he can do the business England will be in the box seat. I hope you can stay awake during the 40 minute interval.
02:40 Hope you enjoyed your 'lunch', if you can call it lunch at this time of night. BOOM! Cook smashes the first ball after the break to the boundary and the fifty partnership is up.
03:00 England past 100 now and still only two wickets down, the Aussie attack not looking too threatening now that the ball is a little older. We rate England's first inning total at 391.5 (over or under that is 17/20).
03:05 England go favourites for the first test. England 13/8, Aussies 7/4, Draw 7/4.
03:25 Pietersen out! England 117/3. Arrgghh. Just when he looked in good touch. Peter Siddle gets the edge and Ponting takes the catch. Aussies 6/4, Draw 15/8, England 15/8
03:35 Collingwood gone! England in trouble now. 125/4. It looked good at lunch but now England struggling. Australia go odds on again - 10/11, Draw looking an unlikely 3/1 whilst England are 2/1.
Ian Bell is in, come on Ian, show the Aussies you're not the Sherminator anymore! He is 2/1 to score a fifty.
04:10 Cook becomes the first man to hit a half-century in this series. England need him to convert this into a big score, he is 6/4 to get a ton. England 151/4.
04:35 England 167/4. These two look solid. Bit of cloud around but the commentators are confident it will pass. It's 12/5 for the draw so anyone who backed that will be hoping they're wrong. Robbie Fowler in the crowd, cheering on England.
TEA That's tea, England scored 86/2 in both sessions = 172/4 in total at tea. Pretty even and hopefully England can kick on in the final session. I predict 273/5 at the end of the day. Current prices - Australia 6/5, Draw 9/4 England 2/1. Cook is 6/5 to hit a ton, Bell 11/4.
05:00 35 overs to be bowled in this final session. The run line for the session is set at 97.5 (17/20 if you fancy over or under that score).
05:20 Aussie bowling not too impressive since tea. A couple of wides and a no-ball. Shane Watson not happy with the Umpire's call. Bell flicks him away for three the next ball to further infuriate the blonde bowler. England 184/4. Bell is 7/4 to score a century.
Cook edges one, but it goes through the slip cordon for four runs. 188/4.
05:44 Every time England look like they're getting on top they lose a wicket. Cook has gone, he played well but really needed to push on for a century. That brings Matt Prior to the crease and he's GONE FIRST BALL. All gone wrong for England in two balls. Siddle is on a hat-trick.......Stuart Broad to face......he's got it!! Unbelievable scenes. England refer it. It's hitting leg stump and the hat-trick stands. Five minutes to forget for England. Carnage and now the Aussies are 8/15 to win this match. England out to 11/4.
05:48 We're still catching our breath in the William Hill offices following that hat-trick. Ian Bell gets to fifty, England move on to 209/7. We have England runs at 277.5 (over/under at 17/20). Surely that won't be enough?
06:10 Some respite for England as a Mitchell Johnson over goes for 11 runs. Ian Bell will be gutted if he runs out of partner as he's seeing it like a football. Australia are 4/6, England 9/4 and the draw the outside bet at 4/1.
06:13 Swann has gone, LBW, a ridiculous referral is made, the ball was hitting middle stump, half way up. It's going downhill fast for England. A short delay as a brief rain shower comes down. The players are back on though. England 229/8. Australia in control and are 8/15 to win.
06:40 Ian Bell looks an absolute class act. He's keeping the majority of strike and keeping the scoreboard ticking over. England 247/8. We have his innings runs at 90.5. He's currently on 70. If he can get a century from here it will be one to remember.
06:50 Ian Bell smashes a four and brings the 250 up for England. We're over/under 288.5 for England runs at 17/20.
Ian Bell has gone for 76, giving Doherty his first test wicket. Looks like England will be bowling today. 254/9. Australia 1/2, Draw 5/1, England 11/4. Can the last wicket produce any runs? Oi oi Anderson, reverse sweep for four. WHAT A SHOT!
England 260 all out, Jimmy Anderson getting over-excited and tries another reverse sweep slog, misses and Doherty gets his 2nd test wicket. Bit of a letdown from England.
07:00 Australia now 2/5, Draw 6/1 and England 3/1. England need early wickets if they're to stay in the game. Can Anderson and Broad produce some magic? 11 overs to go. Come on England!!
07:25 No cheer for England so far, the Aussies 11/0. The game cuts off at 07:30 for the day. We have Aussie runs at 375.5, that would give them a lead of over a hundred. England need to keep them below that.
07:35 That's all for the day. Not great for England after some promising partnerships the Peter Siddle hat-trick swung the game in Australia's favour. The bowlers will need to do something special tomorrow to keep the visitors in the game. Anyone who backed Australia with William Hill at best price will feel pretty pleased, there's a long way to go yet though. The Aussies are now 2/5, England 4/1 and the draw 9/2.