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Ashes cricket Sydney Test live scores, updates, weather: Usman Khawaja century


Australian batter Usman Khawaja has cemented his place in the record books by scoring twin Ashes centuries at the SCG.

Day four of the New Year’s Test in Sydney was all about Usman Khawaja, who became just the sixth Australian to score twin centuries in an Ashes contest.

England resumed day four at 7/258, trailing Australia in the first innings by 158 runs before being bowled out for 294.

Victorian quick Scott Boland finished with four wickets, including the dismissal of England centurion Jonny Bairstow, continuing the fairytale start to his Test career.

Australia lost four early wickets in their second innings before Khawaja and Cameron Green combined for a 179-run stand to put the hosts in a commanding position.

And soon after, Khawaja made history by becoming the first Australian to score twin centuries in an Ashes Test at the SCG.

The Aussies declared their innings closed at 6/265, setting England an unlikely target of 388 for victory.

England’s openers survived 11 nerve-racking over before stumps was called, meaning Australia needs to take 10 wickets on Sunday to go 4-0 up in the series.

Play will resume at 10am AEDT tomorrow morning.

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Khawaja creates history at the SCG

Usman Khawaja, take a bow. That was absolutely remarkable.

The Queensland captain has brought up another classy century against England, becoming the first Australian to score twin tons at the SCG since Ricky Ponting achieved the feat against South Africa in 2006.

Khawaja needed just 131 balls to reach the milestone, passing 100 with a powerful pull shot through mid-wicket.

It’s his 10th Test century, and third against England – all of which have come at the SCG. The only other Australian cricketer with three Ashes centuries at the SCG is the legendary Victor Trumper.

Khawaja also becomes the first Australian to score centuries in both innings of a Test from No. 5 since the Steve Waugh achieved the feat at Old Trafford in 1997.

The 35-year-old has now scored more runs in this series than every England player apart from captain Joe Root.

Put simply, Khawaja has looked a class above the other batter in the series, hitting England’s hapless bowlers to all corners of the iconic venue.

He’s made it impossible for national selectors to drop him ahead of the Hobart Test.

“It’s a surreal moment,” Khawaja told Fox Cricket. “I’ve never scored back to back hundreds in first class cricket let alone Test cricket. It’s pretty special.”

Former Australian paceman Trent Copeland said on Channel 7: “It almost brings a tear to the eye to be honest.

“Just so happy for him and the person he is and the challenges that come with being dropped from the national side.”

Australian cricket great Adam Gilchrist argued that Khawaja should be picked for the Hobart Test ahead of opener Marcus Harris.

“For mine, I think he has to stay in the team,” Gilchrist said on Fox Cricket.

“I love a sense of loyalty, I know that’s something the selectors and particularly Justin Langer have tried to commit to Marcus Harris with staying with him and they were repaid somewhat down at the MCG, but Harris will be kicking himself he’s missed two opportunities to convert.

“I think Usman Khawaja has clearly showed he’s in the top six best batters in Australia.”

ESPNcricinfo reporter Andrew McGlashan tweeted: “One of main reasons behind Usman Khawaja being dropped in the 2019 Ashes was the irresistible case Marnus Labuschagne made when being a ‘super sub’ then Steven Smith returned from concussion. The script has been flicked here. You have to make room for him.”

Soon after, all-rounder Cameron Green was removed while chasing quick runs, and after wicketkeeper Alex Carey was dismissed for a golden duck, Australian skipper Pat Cummins declared the innings closed.

England requires 388 runs for victory.

Green’s second Test fifty

Young all-rounder Cameron Green brings up his second Test fifty with a powerful pull shot through mid-wicket.

Meanwhile, Usman Khawaja approaches the nervous nineties at the other end.

Fifty for Khawaja

Usman Khawaja just can’t stop scoring runs.

The Australian No. 5 has brought up a half-century in 86 balls at the SCG to go with his first-innings century.

Khawaja is the first Australian to score a century and a fifty in a Sydney Ashes Test since Greg Chappell achieved the feat in 1975.

He has now scored more runs in this Ashes series than teammate Marcus Harris.

“Khawaja is just playing with them here,” former Australian paceman Merv Hughes said on Triple M.

“He’s hitting it wherever he wants to.”

Smith removed by tweaker

Jack Leach was ruthlessly mocked after his performance in Brisbane, but the England spinner has been on fire at the SCG today.

After removing opener Marcus Harris, the left-armer has clean-bowled Australian vice-captain Steve Smith for 23.

Smith was looking in great touch before he played all around a straight one from Leach.

Young all-rounder Cameron Green is the new man in the middle.

England quick gets Marnus again

Mark Wood has certainly found his bunny.

Since Marnus Labuschagne was knighted the No. 1 Test batter in the world, Wood has dismissed him three time in a row.

On this occasion, Labuschagne swiped a short delivery from the England speedster, edging the ball through to substitute gloveman Ollie Pope for his third catch of the innings.

The Australian No. 3 departs for 29, and first-innings centurion Usman Khawaja is the new man in the middle.

Harris falls cheaply again

With his Test career on the line, Australian opener Marcus Harris has been dismissed by tweaker Jack Leach for 27.

The left-hander looked to drive through the covers, but could only manage a thin outside edge which was caught by substitute wicketkeeper Ollie Pope.

Harris will be wary of Usman Khawaja, who scored a century in the first innings at Sydney. Some pundits have called for the Queensland captain to replace Harris at the top of the order ahead of next week’s Hobart Test.

“The problem Marcus Harris has now got is that he‘s played 14 Test matches and zero hundreds as a Test match opener,” former Test batter Greg Blewett said on Channel 7.

“They’ve really tried to back him in … George Bailey guaranteed his spot weeks out from the Test match series actually starting. So they’ve really tried to give him every opportunity to perform. So he’s now played 14 Test matches and averages 26. I mean, the fact that Australia are winning helps, but I think if you’re going to be absolutely ruthless then you’ve got to keep trying to improve your side, which everyone should be. You know, Usman Khawaja coming off a magnificent hundred, he’s opened the batting before, I think that’s the way they’ve got to go.

“How many games is a decent enough bank of evidence? Keep coming back to 14 Test matches. And then some people say it wasn‘t 14 Test matches in a row, but he’s now had four in a row. It was a gutsy innings, 76 in Melbourne on a difficult surface. But his career first class record is 39, so that’s not brilliant. Usman Khawaja in Test match cricket is averaging over 40. And that’s the other thing – three 50s from 14 Test matches. So it’s not just the hundred, it’s the fact that he’s been able to get 20s, 30s, and not anything more than that.”

England’s surprise mid-match player swap

Ollie Pope will don the gloves for England in the second innings of the SCG Test after wicketkeeper Jos Buttler sustained a blow to his index finger on day two.

Buttler was sent for an x-ray after copping the blow, but the extent of his injury will be evaluated at the end of the Sydney Test.

But Pope, who was not selected in England’s starting XI, replaces Buttler in the field.

A similar switch occurred in last summer’s corresponding fixture, when Indian gloveman Rishabh Pant was temporarily replaced by Wriddhiman Saha in the third Test against Australia.

Meanwhile, England No. 6 Jonny Bairstow, who is more than capable of donning the gloves at Test level, suffered a nasty blow to his thumb while batting on Friday. He was also sent for scans after copping the injury, but resumed batting on day four.

To make matters worse for England, superstar all-rounder Ben Stokes is also under an injury cloud after hurting his side while bowling in the first innings.

On Friday evening, Sydney Thunder wicketkeeper Sam Billings was added to England’s Test squad as cover.

Warner departs early

England quick Mark Wood has snared an early breakthrough for the tourists, with David Warner making his way back to the pavilion for 3.

Warner prodded tentatively at a length delivery from Wood, with the outside edge comfortably taken by stand-in wicketkeeper Ollie Pope.

Marnus Labuschagne is the new man in the middle.

England all out, Boland gets four

Scott Boland’s golden run with the ball has continued, with the Victorian quick snaring four wickets in the first innings in Sydney.

Stuart Broad was the last England batter to fall, with the tailender skying a comfortable catch for wicketkeeper Alex Carey after attempting a pull shot.

Boland’s Test bowling average is currently 8.27 – no cricketer in Test history has more wickets at a better average than the Victorian quick.

There will be a 10-minute break during the change of innings before David Warner and Marcus Harris walk out to the middle.

England centurion departs

Jonny Bairstow’s classy knock has drawn to a close, with Scott Boland removing the England batter for 113 on Saturday morning.

Boland drew Bairstow onto the front foot, and a thin edge was caught by Aussie gloveman Alex Carey behind the stumps.

England is now nine down, and Boland has three scalps.

GOAT strikes early blow

It hasn’t taken long for Australia to unearth the first breakthrough of the morning, with off-spinner Nathan Lyon removing rival tweaker Jack Leach for 10.

Leach attempted a wild slog, and the top-edge was comfortably taken by Australian skipper Pat Cummins at mid-on.

Stuart Broad is the new man in the middle.

Tragic truth behind Bairstow’s gesture

Nothing was going to stop an emotional Jonny Bairstow from realising his ambition of scoring an Ashes century in Australia — not even a nasty blow on his thumb.

The 32-year-old typified the grit of a counterpunching 128-run partnership with injured Ben Stokes to raise his first Test century in Australia, and England’s first on a demoralising tour with the Ashes relinquished inside 12 days.

Bairstow turned the tide and gave the tourists something to cheer finally with his unbeaten 103 off 140 balls, studded with eight fours and three sixes.

There was also some emotion for this Test, which started on the 24th anniversary of his father David’s sudden death. Bairstow looked to the heavens as he achieved his goal.

“I’m extremely proud, I had to dig deep,” he said.

David, himself a former professional cricketer, died by suicide at 46.

Bairstow’s spirited knock didn’t come without pain after he suffered a nasty blow on his right thumb from Pat Cummins, which for a time threatened to cut his innings short.

Bairstow was on 60 when Cummins dug one in and it crushed his thumb holding the bat. He needed treatment from the team physio, painkillers and strapping before he bravely continued to defy Australian attempts to get him out.

“It takes quite a bit to get me off the park. Yes, it was sore but the circumstances of the game, it was one of those where it was a decision I made to stay out there,” he said.

“The medics can give you advice but you’re playing in an Ashes Test match, New Year’s Day Pink Test match at Sydney in front of a big crowd, it’s going to take a lot to get you away from that.

“I might get an X-ray on it but I reckon I’ll still be there in the morning.”

Bairstow went out to the SCG middle under pressure to score runs. It was his first Test century in 38 innings since making 110 against Sri Lanka in Colombo in November 2018.

He howled with delight upon hitting Cummins to the ropes to bring up his ton.

“I went back to some things with my technique which I used a couple of years ago,” he said. “I was relieved and overjoyed.

“I felt I was playing nicely in Melbourne (previous Test) but when you’ve not been out in the middle, you need time to get your rhythm going.”

AFP

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