Usman Khawaja became only the sixth Australian to achieve twin century in an Ashes matches on day four of the New Year’s Test in Sydney.
Day four began with England at 7/258, trailing Australia by 158 runs in the first innings before being knocked out for 294.
Scott Boland of Victoria concluded with four wickets, including England centurion Jonny Bairstow, extending his fairytale start to Test cricket.
In their second innings, Australia lost four early wickets before Khawaja and Cameron Green put on a 179-run stand to put the hosts in control.
Soon after, Khawaja made history at the SCG when he became the first Australian to make two hundred in an Ashes Test.
The Australians declared their innings at 6/265, giving England a 388-run win target.
- Usman Khawaja, What A Batsman!
Take a bow, Usman Khawaja. That was just extraordinary. The Queensland skipper has added to his impressive century against England, becoming the first Australian to hit two centuries at the SCG since Ricky Ponting did so against South Africa in 2006.
Khawaja reached the 100-run mark in just 131 balls, with a stunning pull shot through mid-wicket.
It’s his tenth Test century, and his third against England, both at the SCG. The famous Victor Trumper is the only other Australian cricketer with three Ashes centuries at the SCG.
Khawaja also becomes the first Australian since Steve Waugh at Old Trafford in 1997 to make hundreds in both innings of a Test match from No. 5.
Apart from skipper Joe Root, the 35-year-old has now scored more runs in this series than any other England player.
Simply said, Khawaja has been a cut above the rest of the batters in the series, slamming England’s inept bowlers all over the place.
National selectors will find it impossible to drop him before the Hobart Test.
On his Test debut, 11 years ago, Khawaja batted for two hours in his first Test innings on an opening day. He only scored 37 runs, but the grace with which he made his runs in an otherwise poor team performance convinced Australian supporters that Ponting’s long-term successor for the No 3 position had been discovered.
While Khawaja’s Test career was not as fruitful as expected, and he never completely established himself as the No 3 batsman, the 44-year-old veteran made a triumphant return after a two-year absence.
Meanwhile, with his dual century at the SCG, Khawaja achieved yet another feat. The right-handed hitter became just the ninth player in Ashes Test history to hit a century in both innings. In addition, he became the 87th player in Test match history to achieve a century in both innings. The last batter to achieve this feat in a Test match was Indian opener, Rohit Sharma. In a Test match against South Africa in 2019, Sharma had scored a century in both innings.
Whatever happens on the last day, the fourth Test of this one-sided Ashes series will be remembered as Usman Khawaja’s outing, after the returning Sydney son backed up his outstanding century on day two with a superb follow-up on the fourth.