Second Khawaja ton leaves England to bat to save Sydney Test - Sports1
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Second Khawaja ton leaves England to bat to save Sydney Test

Usman Khawaja scored his second century match to help Australia claim 265 points on the fourth day of Saturday’s fourth Ashes Test, giving England an unlikely victory goal of 388.

Scorecard and ball-by-ball commentary

England’s hopes of avoiding a 4-0 deficit in the series appear to depend on stubborn batting and the weather, which will continue on the final day of the 30th after Haseeb Hameed and Zak Crawley survive 11 times in front of the stump and not lose.

The day belongs again to Khawaja, who returned to Test cricket after 2.5 years as a temporary replacement for Travis Head when the middle batsman tested positive for COVID-19.

The 35-year-old has reinvigorated Australia’s squad with a 179-game revival with all-rounder Cameron Green after England had stopped making a second announcement of the match.

Calm and stylish, Khawaja added 101 to his 137 runs scored in the first inning, hitting the milestone for the 10th time with two balls on the ground.

“A surreal moment,” said Khawaja, who has now played against England for three centuries at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

“I’ve never played back-to-back hundreds of times in first-class cricket, let alone Test cricket.

“It’s a good tick to put the team in a situation where we can hopefully win a Test match tomorrow,” he added. “very special.”

He is the third batsman to score centuries in both innings in a Ground Test match, joining compatriot Doug Walters against the West Indies in 1969 and Ricky Ponting against South Africa in 2006.

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After being sacked 294 times in the first 40 minutes of the day, England struck a decent bowling punch in Australia and eliminated the top four with just 86 points.

However, that only brought Khawaja and Green together, who were on the verge of giving Australia a 400-point lead when the latter fired a 74 to Jack Leach to finally break the partnership. Advantage.

Leach (4-84) then put Alex Carey behind on the next ball, but Australia’s Pat Cummins denied the spinner a hat-trick chance, refusing to make it up and calling Khawaja back in the locker room in a statement.

Australia’s four wickets were carried behind by Ollie Pope, who replaced the injured Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow with wickets.

Bairstow scored England’s only series of a century in the first inning, with Butler and all-rounder Ben Stokes scanning for injuries before the game, but all will be batting on Sunday.

“I’m sure the lads will do everything they need to do tomorrow,” said acting England coach Graham Thorpe.

“They’ll all hit the ball and I’m sure they’ll all do well.”

The weather may still have an effect on that as the storm slams across the Pacific coast, but if they miss Sydney’s eastern suburbs, England’s job looks tough.

The most successful fourth innings match in the 140-year history of the SCG Cricket Test was Australia’s 287-run goal against South Africa in 2006.

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