Australia takes 3-0 lead in Test series against England

Usman Khawaja produced a comeback century of the highest class to put Australia in a commanding position at stumps on yesterday’s second day of the 4th Test against England at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), Australia.

Khawaja’s 137 from 260 balls was the highlight of Australia’s 416-8 declared. The score could have been higher had it not been for England’s fast bowler, Stuart Broad’s 5-101, including the crucial wickets of Khawaja and Steven Smith for 67. He also had the wicket of opening batsman, David Warner for 30 on Wednesday’s first day. It was Broad’s 19th five-wicket haul in Tests.

England faced a frightful five overs before stumps and Zak Crawley got a major reprieve. He nicked Mitchell Starc to first slip with Warner taking the catch head high. As Crawley walked off for what would have been a 12-ball duck, replays showed that Starc had overstepped.

Khawaja was the star of the day for Australia. Playing his first Test in more than two years after he was dropped during the 2019 Ashes Series, he made his ninth Test century in his 45th Test, and his first in an Ashes series since making 171 at the Sydney Cricket Ground four years ago. Khawaja’s innings was proof that he remains one of Australia’s best batsmen despite only playing because Travis Head was diagnosed with COVID-19.

When play ended today, the third day of the match, England had taken their overnight first innings reply from 13 for no wicket to 258-7 in reply to Australia’s 1st innings score of 416-8 declared.

Johhny Bairstow was on 103 not out, Ben Stokes made 66. They shared a fifth wicket stand of 128. Mark Wood scored 39. He and Bairstow put on 72 for the seventh wicket, but England trailed by 158 runs on 1st innings with 3 wickets remaining.
So, at the close of play today, the third day of the 4th Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the scores were Australia, who won the toss and batted first 416-8 declared, England 258-7 and trailing by 158 on first innings.

Australia have already taken a 3-0 winning lead in the 5-match Ashes Series.

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