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  5. Ashes 2021-22, AUS vs ENG, 4th Test, Day 4: Khawaja's twin centuries lifts Australia to 387-run lead

Ashes 2021-22, AUS vs ENG, 4th Test, Day 4: Khawaja's twin centuries lifts Australia to 387-run lead

Openers Zak Crawley and Haseeb Hameed then survived a nervous 11 overs in fading light to get England safely to stumps at 29 without loss.  

India TV Sports Desk Edited by: India TV Sports Desk Sydney Published on: January 08, 2022 13:56 IST
Usman Khawaja celebrates his century during day four of the Fourth Test Match in the Ashes series
Image Source : GETTY

Usman Khawaja celebrates his century during day four of the Fourth Test Match in the Ashes series between Australia and England at Sydney Cricket Ground 

Highlights

  • England need 358 runs to win the SCG Test.
  • Khawaja scored 137 and 101* in the first and the second innings for Australia.

Usman Khawaja's scintillating century on Day 4 of the ongoing Sydney Test guided the hosts to 265-6 declared to give England a total of 388 runs to win the fourth Ashes Test.

Openers Zak Crawley and Haseeb Hameed then survived a nervous 11 overs in fading light to get England safely to stumps at 29 without loss.

Khawaja, who scored 137 in the first innings in his first appearance since 2019, headlined another dominant day for Australia with an unbeaten 101 off 138 balls as part of a 179-run partnership with Cameron Green.

It was just the third time that twin centuries have been made at the Sydney Cricket Ground with former Australia captain Ricky Ponting the last man to score two centuries in an SCG test — 2006 vs. South Africa.

Green (74) made a welcome contribution for Australia, which had sunk to 86-4 earlier in the day, with his second half-century in his eighth test.

The record successful fourth-innings chase at the SCG is 288 runs, which was achieved by Ponting's Australia in the same 2006 test against South Africa.

While it's highly unlikely England will defy SCG history and chase down a near 400-run target, Crawley (22 not out) and Haseeb (eight not out) helped give England a glimmer of hope that it may yet save the game and achieve its best result so far in the series.

Rain is also forecast for Sydney on Sunday which may assist England's cause in playing for a draw.

Earlier, Spinner Jack Leach took four wickets for England, including taking Green and Alex Carey off the final two balls of Australia's innings, in what was his best bowling performance of the series.

He also took Marcus Harris (27) and then got the prized wicket of Steve Smith for 23, bowling the star batsman with a delivery that kept low of the SCG pitch to reduce Australia to a potentially vulnerable 86-4.

Mark Wood, who has troubled all of Australia’s batsmen with his pace this series, got the wickets of Warner (3) and Labuschagne (29), both caught behind by Ollie Pope, who had replaced injured wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

Resuming Saturday at 258-7, England could only muster another 36 runs as Nathan Lyon, then Scott Boland quickly mopped up the lower order to establish a first-innings lead of 122 runs.

Lyon (2-88) struck in the third over the morning, teasing Jack Leach into a big shot but was easily caught by Pat Cummins for 10.

Boland, returning with the all-clear after needing a scan on his ribs following a fall while he was bowling just before tea on Friday, finally ended Jonny Bairstow’s defiant innings at 113. Bairstow faced 158 balls, hitting eight boundaries and three sixes.

Boland then had Stuart Broad caught behind for 15 to end the innings. Boland finished with 4-36 and now has 11 wickets in the first three test innings.

Over the first two rain-affected days at the SCG, Australia made 416-8 declared with Khawaja scoring 137 in his first test since 2019.

- With inputs from AP