An imperious Usman Khawaja was on the verge of a double century when rain interrupted Australia’s run plunder in opposition to South Africa within the third Check on Thursday in Sydney. In one other dominant day for the hosts, Khawaja peeled off an unbeaten 195 for his highest Check rating whereas Steven Smith handed a Don Bradman landmark together with his thirtieth hundred. On the rain-enforced shut on day two, Australia had been 475-4 with Matt Renshaw — who examined optimistic for Covid in the beginning of the match — 5 not out.
Australia are 2-0 up within the collection and chasing a clear sweep.
Khawaja and Smith shared in a 209-run stand and Travis Head rammed house the initiative with a blistering 59-ball 70 to depart the guests but once more going through an uphill activity.
The red-hot Khawaja surpassed his earlier highest rating of 174, made in opposition to New Zealand in Brisbane in 2015.
Smith greater than performed his half, passing Bradman’s 29 Check tons with an imposing pullshot off Anrich Nortje to the boundary ropes to say a hometown hundred off 190 balls.
He was out two balls later for 104 when he innocuously chipped again a catch to Keshav Maharaj for the left-arm spinner’s first wicket of the collection.
Solely Ponting (41) and Waugh (32) have scored extra Check centuries for Australia than Smith, who’s second solely to the immortal Bradman (99.94) with a present Check common of 60.89 in his 92nd Check match.
“I do not take into consideration that stuff an excellent deal however I did lookup on the scoreboard simply after I received 100… and there are some fairly massive names there, in order that’s fairly cool,” Smith mentioned.
“I feel there’s beginning to get just a little bit extra tough. That is actually optimistic indicators for us. The rougher and extra abrasive that floor will get, the extra you will most likely see reverse swing come into play as effectively.”
– Residence comforts for Khawaja –
Khawaja relentlessly gathered on his third consecutive Sydney Check hundred and when rain ended play with 14 overs left he had confronted 368 balls, with 19 fours and a six.
Earlier than lunch, Khawaja danced a celebratory jig after clipping Kagiso Rabada for 2 by means of deep sq. to carry up one other hundred at Sydney Cricket Floor.
It adopted twin centuries in opposition to England in final yr’s corresponding Sydney Check.
“I grew up right here simply up the street and my household is right here watching, I’ve associates out within the crowd, it is at all times an honour to attain runs right here,” mentioned Khawaja.
Solely England’s Wally Hammond, Australian Doug Walters and India’s VVS Laxman have scored three consecutive Check centuries on the well-known SCG.
Head hit one other typical rumbustious half-century earlier than he was brilliantly caught on the ropes by substitute fielder Rassie van der Dussen off Rabada.
“Within the place we’re in, the extra time that’s taken out of the sport might be extra in our favour,” Maharaj mentioned after rain introduced South Africa some badly wanted respite.
“But it surely additionally places Australia ready the place they should make a play from right here on in.”
To this point on this one-sided three-Check collection, the Australians have amassed 1,303 runs for the lack of 26 wickets — at a mean per wicket of fifty.
South Africa have 644 runs for the lack of 40 wickets at 16.1.
The Australians gained the opening Check by a six-wicket rout in Brisbane inside two days after which hammered the Proteas by an innings and 182 runs in Melbourne.
Aside from the pursuit of a collection whitewash, Australia try to seal a spot within the ICC World Check Championship remaining in London in June.
(This story has not been edited by String Reveals workers and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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