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Usman Khawaja’s second century leaves England needing a miracle on final day | Ashes 2021-22

England might want to bat for the whole lot of the final day to kill Australia’s pursuit of an Ashes whitewash in Sydney, after Usman Khawaja’s second century of the match arrange the hosts for victory on day 5 in Sydney. Haseeb Hameed and Zak Crawley did play out the final 11 overs to achieve 30 with out loss however England want one other 258 runs to safe an unlikely win.

Having marked his first look in two-and-a-half years with a chic 137 within the first innings, Khawaja repeated the feat with a dashing 101 not out at his previous dwelling floor and gave his aspect each likelihood of going 4-0 up within the collection.

By the point Australia declared on 265 for six, England had been looking at a distant goal of 388, precisely 100 greater than the document chase on this floor and 91 greater than their greatest complete of the collection.

Not many statistics from the present marketing campaign supply good tidings for Joe Root’s aspect, however the truth that Khawaja has already scored greater than some other Englishman barring the captain himself is a painful reminder of their flaws.

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The opening pairing has been the largest downside of all they usually appeared ripe for the choosing in an ungainly interval earlier than stumps. However Hameed and Crawley, each fearfully in need of runs, completed unbeaten to document what’s remarkably England’s greatest first-wicket stand of the tour.

Australia ought to get one other 98 overs on Sunday, with England carrying three injured males of their prime seven. Ben Stokes has had scans on a worrying aspect grievance, whereas Jos Buttler (left index finger) and Jonny Bairstow (proper thumb) have each had X-rays.

Within the absence of the latter pair, Ollie Pope was drafted in as substitute wicketkeeper and acquitted himself impressively with 4 catches, however everybody shall be wanted to play their half with the bat.

England started the day with centurion Bairstow nonetheless on the crease and three wickets up their sleeve as they appeared to chip away at an in a single day deficit of 158.

They had been solely capable of take one other 36 off, with Scott Boland eradicating Bairstow for 113 and including Stuart Broad to proceed the Australian’s outstanding introduction to the Take a look at enviornment.

Returning to the sphere 122 in arrears and with Pope deputising behind the stumps, England knew they wanted a big effort with ball in hand. For a whereas, a minimum of, it appeared like they may produce one.

Root tossed the ball to Wooden whereas it was nonetheless contemporary, simply 5 overs in, and he responded by instantly snagging David Warner’s outdoors edge. Pope took it safely and the job was underneath method.

Pope’s second catch was extra spectacular, standing as much as Jack Leach’s spin, staying low and snapping up a sharp edge from Marcus Harris. By the point they added the prize scalps of Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith Australia had been creaking at 86 for 4.

England spinner Jack Leach celebrates the key wicket of Steve Smith.
England spinner Jack Leach celebrates the important thing wicket of Steve Smith. {Photograph}: Dean Lewins/AAP

The world’s top-ranked batter Labuschagne misplaced his head-to-head with Wooden for the third innings in a row, swiping a seaming supply to Pope. Smith, in the meantime, had a uncommon aberration when he misplaced his center stump reducing Leach.

There was, for a second or two, a trace that Australia might be toppled however Khawaja went on to steer a very good stand of 179 with Cameron Inexperienced.

He immediately discovered his rhythm, pulling elegantly and stroking into gaps. When England opted for spin, he milked it or crushed it relying on his whim.

There have been a couple of emphatic slog sweeps for six off Leach, every achieved with an assertive stride and a fulsome swing.

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By the point he reached 50 with a cowl drive off Broad, the concept that he would double up had already taken maintain. Inexperienced was a lot much less certain of himself however the lack of scoreboard stress and Khawaja’s calm assurance helped him settle.

There have been solely a couple of slight doubts alongside the best way to Khawaja’s hundred, a nick off Root that went out and in of Pope’s glove and a optimistic lbw referral on 98.

If England thought the latter delay would unsettle him, their choice handy part-timer Dawid Malan the subsequent over had the alternative impact and Khawaja duly whipped a long-hop for 2 to kick off a lengthy ovation.

A declaration appeared sure however Pat Cummins gave Inexperienced the possibility to dash for his personal ton. He received so far as 74 earlier than slogging Leach straight within the air. The spinner made it two in two when Pope’s sensible reactions condemned Alex Carey to a golden duck, however Cummins refused to permit the hat-trick alternative – waving Khawaja in from the balcony.

Australia have made a behavior of new-ball wickets however discovered Crawley (22no) in breezy type, whereas Hameed hung in for eight.

Ali Martin’s report from the SCG to comply with …

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