The Ashes: England fight to save fourth test after Usman Khawaja finishes two hundred | Cricket news
England reached 30-0 in their bid to save the fourth test from the ashes after Usman Khawaja’s second century match lit day four at Sydney Cricket Ground.
England, set an unlikely 388 for the win after Australia declared 265-6 with Khawaja 101 no on 138 deliveries, lost no wicket in the 11 overs before the strains as Zak Crawley (22no ) and Haseeb Hameed (8no) came out unscathed to share their team’s highest opening partnership of the series – surpassing the 23 achieved in Brisbane.
Tourists now need to beat 98 overs on the final day at SCG – or score 358 more for an unlikely win – to end Australia’s hopes of a 5-0 series sweep, and they could still be helped by the rain.
- England move closer to 30-0 after scoring 388 wins
- Zak Crawley (22 no), Haseeb Hameed (8 no)
- Usman Khawaja (101 no) scores the second hundredth of the test
- Australia declare second set 265-6
- Jack Leach with four wickets, Mark Wood two
- Ollie Pope keeps the wicket for England
England have fitness issues over Ben Stokes (side), Jonny Bairstow (thumb) and Jos Buttler (hand) – Stokes didn’t play at all on day four, while the blows to Bairstow and Buttler meant that substitute Ollie Pope kept the wicket in Australia’s second innings.
The Pope took four catches in a tidy display behind the stumps and left arm spinner Jack Leach put four wickets in a much improved outing, but the star of the show was Khawaja, who followed his first 137 innings with another century in its first test since August 2019.
The 35-year-old class oozed again as he drove, cut, shot and swept his way to a 10th cent red ball for his country, two days after scoring his ninth, only entering the camp for the Covid Travis Head shot.
Khawaja and Cameron Green (74 of 122) shared a fifth wicket of 179 of 238 balls after Australia were reduced to 86-4 in their second dig – the home side’s lead at this point – a both England sacked for 294 in their first innings.
Quick Englishman Mark Wood fired David Warner (3) cheaply, then knocked out Marnus Labuschagne (29) for the third time in the series – the two hitters caught behind by Pope – while Leach had the opening partner of Warner, Marcus Harris (27) pocketed by Pope and launched Steve Smith (23).
Pope’s four catches are tied at most by a substitute outfielder in a test round, first set by Pakistani Younis Khan against Bangladesh in 2001 and tied by Indian Wriddhiman Saha against Australia in SCG last year. .
Pope’s only noticeable flaw with the gloves was dropping a strong chance on Captain Joe Root’s bowling alley when Khawaja was on 70.
Rob Key thinks Jonny Bairstow demonstrated how England should beat Australia with a more positive approach
Khawaja made the most of his reprieve, winning two tons in the 131-delivery test with part-time spinner cut Dawid Malan stepping up in the last session after making 35 of 74 tea deliveries.
It took the southpaw just 57 more deliveries to reach triple digits, in which he netted sixes on both Leach and Root, as he followed compatriots Doug Walters and Ricky Ponting in scoring two tons in the same test match at Sydney Cricket Ground.
Khawaja has now scored more points than any other English player in this series except for Root, having hit only twice.
Green also impressed after a sketchy start to the inning as he racked up his second fifty-first test since hitting 84 against India on this pitch last January – but there were boos from the crowd as ‘he held the strike as Khawaja approached his century.
Australian skipper Pat Cummins called his team after Green and Alex Carey (0) fell to successive deliveries from Leach, denying the bowler the chance of an Ashes hat trick.
Green was caught off guard by Root before Carey slipped behind Pope on the sweep and the alternate English wicket keeper grabbed a hand as he rushed to his right.
Earlier, England added 36 points to their overnight total of 258-7 as they ceded a 122 deficit in the first set.
Leach (10) was caught in the act of swimming, Nathan Lyon, before the designer Scott Boland (4-36) took the top scorer Bairstow (113) and Stuart Broad (15) behind by Carey.
England then made things interesting with four wickets inside 29 overs, but Khawaja and Green’s partnership brought the momentum back to Australia and, if the weather holds up on day five, the squad of Cummins will have high hopes of taking a 4-0 lead in a series they dominated with England to go another 300 at any stage.
- Usman Khawaja became the sixth Australian to score two centuries in the same test against England and just the third to do so in a test at Sydney Cricket Ground.
- When he hit six in his second inning, Steve Smith only became the sixth batter to score at least 3,000 points in a series between England and Australia. Don Bradman leads with 5,028 and Jack Hobbs is the best Englishman with 3,636.
- By the end of day four of play, Scott Boland – admittedly with a very small sample size – has the lowest test bowling average of anyone with 10 or more wickets. It currently has 11 wickets at 8.72 each, the exact returns Charles Marriott succeeded in his solitary test in 1933.
- Ollie Pope made four catches in Australia’s second round, tying the most by a substitute fielder in a test round first set by Pakistani Younis Khan against Bangladesh at Multan in 2001 and tied by Indian Wriddhiman Saha against Australia in Sydney in 2021.
Thorpe: Stokes, Bairstow and Buttler could miss final test
Speaking after day four of play in Sydney, England assistant coach Graham Thorpe said he was not sure Stokes, Buttler and Bairstow were fit for the final test in Hobart – but insisted that they would strike if necessary on the fifth day at the SCG.
He said of the trio: âWe obviously have hits. It’s possible [they will miss the final Test] but we’ll assess all of that at the end of the game.
âObviously Sam (Billings) has been called into the squad and that’s obviously a good indicator of some of the concerns we have with injuries.
âBut I’m sure the guys will take whatever it takes to get themselves into a position where they’re able to perform on the last day. They’ll all hit and they’ll all do their best, I know that.
“At the end of the game we have to assess who will potentially be available. With Stokes his injury is not serious because she is versatile.”
Thorpe in search of England’s “intention”
Thorpe, speaking to BT Sport: âTomorrow it will take a lot of focus, but I still want to see good intentions. You won’t be able to win the game, but you can draw the game and there are ways to draw a game.
“It’s a real opportunity for two guys, or whoever throughout the day, to spend a lot of time at the wicket and put in a good performance to get the team to bring us safely – which I think we do. are capable of doing. “
Sir Alastair Cook, addressing BT Sport: “It will be a good feeling for [Hameed and Crawley]. They would have known that period was coming, so going on the opening, doing your job, surviving it and going into the locker room with everyone patting you on the back, it’s a really nice feeling. They’ll get a lot out of it, but it’s just the start. “
Key satisfied for Leach after transport to four wickets
Rob Key talks to Sky Sports News: âI’m really happy for Leach because he was treated badly by England. an afterthought.
“But because of Stokes’ injury it forced England’s hand. Leach is now allowed to learn on the job to try and find a rhythm so it’s really good to see.”
Khawaja: I couldn’t have written this test better
Australian twin centurion Usman Khawaja, addressing BT Sport: âThis game is not easy, you don’t always get games like these, hundreds in a row I wasn’t supposed to play this game either. Fortune had that I was there for. [Travis Head] and it’s amazing how it works. I couldn’t have written it better myself. “