Khawaja hits ton as Aus­tralia take lead

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -


Us­man Khawaja hit his coun­try’s first cen­tury of the se­ries and Peter Hand­scomb a half cen­tury on de­but as Aus­tralia reached 307 for six with a lead of 48 at end of the se­cond day of the day-night third test against South Africa yes­ter­day. Khawaja’s mag­nif­i­cent 285-ball 138 not out was the glue in Aus­tralia’s in­nings, the left-han­der putting on 137 with Steve Smith un­til his cap­tain was calami­tously run out and then 99 with Hand­scomb. Sean Ab­bott (3-38), who took two wick­ets in the first hour, re­turned to dis­miss Hand­scomb be­fore Kag­iso Rabada bowled an­other debu­tant, Nic Maddin­son, for a duck and Ver­non Phi­lan­der re­moved Matt Wade for four.

Khawaja will re­sume with Mitchell Starc (16 not out) on day three as the hosts look to ex­tend their lead and put them­selves in a com­mand­ing po­si­tion to get the re­sult they need to avoid a first ever 3-0 se­ries sweep on home soil. Now 29, Khawaja has been re­called and dis­carded with reg­u­lar­ity since his de­but in 2011 but was re­tained for Ade­laide de­spite the clearout that fol­lowed the hu­mil­i­at­ing in­nings and 80-run de­feat in Ho­bart. Af­ter open­ing in place of David Warner in the wake of South Africa’s dec­la­ra­tion on 259-9 on Thurs­day, he ne­go­ti­ated a dif­fi­cult open­ing hour yes­ter­day be­fore mix­ing fierce con­cen­tra­tion with some typ­i­cally el­e­gant strokes.

He brought up his 50 with back-to-back fours and his fifth test cen­tury with a 10th boundary cut through point, whip­ping off his hel­met to take the ap­plause of an­other big crowd at Ade­laide Oval. Smith, dropped ear­lier by Hashim Amla, had de­parted for 59 just be­fore his part­ner reached the mile­stone, tear­ing off for an op­ti­mistic sin­gle and left stranded as Khawaja stood his ground and Quin­ton de Kock re­moved the bails. Hand­scomb, brought into the side on the back of a dou­ble cen­tury for Vic­to­ria, proved a more than able part­ner, how­ever, and any prospect of an­other Aus­tralian bat­ting col­lapse quickly dis­si­pated. — Reuters

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