Khawaja ton puts Aussies in control

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Australia: 209/3 (Khawaja 108*, Smith 59, Abbott 2/31)

Usman Khawaja’s unbeaten century put Australia firmly in the driving seat at the dinner break of this pink ball Test here at the Adelaide Oval.

Khawaja has been the standout Australian batsman during this series and thoroughly deserved his three-figure score on Friday after passing 50 in both previous Tests. It was an innings that allowed the hosts to push ahead after the early dismissals of debutant Matt Renshaw and David Warner, who had come in at No 3 after not being able to open on Thursday evening after being in breach of the laws pertaining to time off the field, in the first session.

The stylish left-hander joined up with his captain Steve Smith to put together a solid 137-run partnership for the Australian third wicket. It was the second highest partnership Australia have compiled all series after Warner and Shaun Marsh’s 158-run opening stand in the first Test at the WACA.

Smith was offered a life on 46 when JP Duminy’s “Golden arm” almost brought about a breakthrough in his opening over of the game. Duminy flighted the ball nicely outside the off stump, Smith pushed forward, the ball hit the outside edge, but Hashim Amla could not hold on to a simple catch at first slip.

Smith took advantage of the drop to register the 18th half-century of his career, but he would have been annoyed that he failed to convert it into something bigger after falling foul to miscommunication with Khawaja a few overs later to be left stranded halfway down the pitch.

Kyle Abbott was South Africa’s most impressive bowler throughout the day and thoroughly deserved his two wickets, but needs support from Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada if Australia are not to take a healthy first innings lead.

Independent Media

Usman Khawaja’s unbeaten century put Australia firmly in the driving seat at the dinner break of this pink ball Test at the Adelaide Oval.

Original source: Khawaja ton puts Aussies in control

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