Ashes 2017-18: Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith Consolidate Australian innings in Sydney
The left-handed top-order Usman Khawaja, who was under severe criticism during the ongoing Ashes series lead from the front alongside skipper Steven Smith to finish the day two of the Ashes Test for Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on 193 for two in 67 overs.
Khawaja and Smith forged the unbeaten partnership of 107 runs for the third wicket as Australia is trailing by 153 runs against England in the first innings of the fifth and final Test.
The 31-year-old Khawaja is on the verge of scoring his sixth Test hundred, as he remained unbeaten on 91 off 204 deliveries. He has registered seven boundaries and a solitary six.
On the other end, in his prime form, rock as a solid Smith has registered 88-ball 44 which saw him collecting three boundaries.
However, the left-handed opener and Smith’s deputy David Warner smashed his 28th Test fifty on a surface which proved to be easier for the batting conditions.
Earlier, hosts had a poor start when opener Cameron Bancroft was dismissed in the very second over of the Australian innings at the score of just one when Stuart Broad bowled the right-handed batsman.
For the second-wicket Warner alongside Khawaja posted 85 runs in 30.2 overs.
Warner was caught by gloveman Jonny Bairstow on the bowling of Anderson after scoring 56 off 104 deliveries.
On the other side, starting off their first innings with from the overnight score of 233 for five in 81.4 overs, the Joe Root-led side added 113 runs on the second day, as fast bowler Pat Cummins finished his figures with four for 80 in 24.3 overs.
The left-handed batsman Dawid Malan (62 off 180) was the first-to-go when he was caught brilliantly by Smith in the second slip on the bowling of speedster Mitchell Starc.
After spilling as many as four catches in the innings, Australia somewhat managed to pick wickets at regular intervals as England late-order saw Moeen Ali scoring 30 off 58 balls and Tom Curran posted 65-ball 39 as Broad registered 32-ball crucial 31 runs on board.
Ali was caught by gloveman Tim Paine on the bowling of Cummins including Curran when Bancroft completed a simple catch at short leg region.
Moreover, Broad was caught by Smith on the bowling of off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who bagged his only wicket of the innings after conceding 86 runs in 37 overs.
Debutant Mason Crane was the last-man to perish as Bancroft dislodged the stumps – to find the latter well short of his crease.
Ashes 2017-18: Australia in control after Root, Bairstow perish at stroke of Day One stumps
Here is what you could read more about the traditional series: Ashes 2017-18 Australia Vs England
Tahir Ibn Manzoor