SYDNEY (AP) — Usman Khawaja has recorded his third straight century at the Sydney Cricket Ground, and Steve Smith has made a half-century advancing 266-2 without incident at lunchtime on the second day of the final cricket test against South Africa on Thursday. .
After two centuries in a victorious return for the cricket test against England last year, Khawaja finished one hundred percent from 206 balls with nine borders as he calmly led Australia past 250 after he and Smith continued the day at 147-2.
At lunch, Khawaja is undefeated at 108, and Smith is 59, sharing an unbroken partnership of 119 years.
Reaching 4,000 test drives on opening day, Khawaja set his latest personal milestone by taking two quick laps at Kagiso Rabada shortly before lunch on Thursday.
The 36-year-old enthusiastically celebrated her 13th test face, raised her stick, and then danced to the delight of the SCG crowd at her old home, who were chanting “Uzzie” in admiration for her usual little dance.
Khawaja finished 171 and 101 against England in the test here last year to firmly re-establish himself in Australia’s batting squad after falling during the 2019 Ashes series.
Below, Smith took his 38th test with a score of 50 from 95 balls and looks well-tuned to add more runs against a calm-looking Proteas bowling attack in the afternoon session.
On Wednesday, Marnus Labuschagne and Khawaja marked a half-century of success in a 135-year partnership after hosts lost David Warner 10 points early to Anrich Nortje.
Labuschagne was ejected with 79 points by Nortje (2-39) on the last ball of a cut day, which lost more than three hours to the weather conditions after Australia won the draw and hit.
The day could have been much brighter for South Africa if the TV referee had agreed with his colleagues on the field in an eventful mid-session to hold two close talks to the detriment of tourists. Khawaja escaped Simon Harmer’s lbw appeal with the second ball after lunch before delaying a contentious capture order when Labuschagne was 70.
Shortly after the start of the match on Wednesday, the Australian team management said that striker Matt Renshaw, who was on the team where Cameron Green was injured, felt unwell shortly before the match and then tested positive for the coronavirus but would still attend the match.
Renshaw split from his teammates in his first test since 2018 and moved to another locker room at the SCG. He is expected to strike at number 6.
International Cricket Council regulations state that Renshaw can continue to play in the match as long as he feels well enough, and if he is unable to play, he can play with a similar substitute option.
Australia has already won the series after two crushing defeats in the first two tests in Brisbane and Melbourne.
Australia’s win in this third test will confirm their place in the world test championship final, which will be played at Lord’s in England in June this year.
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