Australia need eight wickets to beat Sri Lanka while the visitors require 328 runs to go one up on the final day of the Hobart Test match.
We’ll bring you the live scores of the action throughout this game, with the final day of the first Test starting at 10.00 am local.
The situation is not too dissimilar from the recent Adelaide Test match. Then, like now, Australia needed bowl South Africa out on the final day but were handicapped by the absence of one of their main quick bowlers due to an injury.
If it was James Pattinson who had left Peter Siddle to shoulder majority of the attack, then this time it was the turn of Ben Hilfenhaus to fall by the wayside. Siddle will be required to take up this responsibility yet again.
What will be different this time is that Michael Clarke will have a third seamer in Shane Watson available to him. Watson, as was on display on the fourth day, did a sterling job on what was described as a treacherous pitch by the TV commentators, and bowled nine testing overs for 10 overs. And he picked up a wicket as well.
What will also be dissimilar from Adelaide is the pitch. Then, the track was still very flat going into the fifth day. Here, the Hobart Test wicket has shown enough signs to indicate life for the batsmen will start tough and become progressively more difficult.
There is another couple of factors to consider going into this last day. Michael Clarke injured his hamstring while batting on the fourth day and had to retire hurt. Captaining the side – even from the slips – will be physically tough on him and may ensure his withdrawal from the Boxing Day Test match but he will be out in the middle doing the job.
How he manages both the pain and his captaincy if the going gets tough could be decisive.
And then there is the weather. While no rain is forecast in Hobart at this stage, Australia will have one eye on it and would like to wrap it up very quickly.
Not that the Sri Lankan team will be any pushovers. As seen in the final session of play Monday, the batsmen were ready to grind it out in the middle, as they batted 37 overs for 65 runs.
It is a strategy that could be on display even on the fifth day and while it is fraught with its own risks, it could just be their best chance to survive the day.
The other option, of being positive from the very start of the day’s play may come undone if they lose one of the two unbeaten batsmen overnight. At least one of the two experienced stalwarts of Sri Lankan cricket, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, will need to bat through most part of the day if they need to salvage something out of this game.
We will bring you the live coverage throughout the game from Hobart and hope to receive your opinions as the action unfolds.