Usman Khawaja's back to back hundreds keep Australia in control of SCG Test.
Brief Scores: England 30 for 0 (Crawley 22*) and 294 all-out (Bairstow 113, Stokes 66, Boland 36/4) need 358 runs to beat Australia 416 for 8 (Khawaja 137, Smith 67, Broad 101/5) and 265/6d (Khawaja 101*, Green 74, Leach 84/4) at Stumps on Day 4
England had amassed 258 runs for 7 wickets yesterday while replying to the total of 416/8d recorded by Australia in the first innings of the fourth Ashes Test 2021-22 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). As the visitors were still trailing by 158 runs at the end of the third day, unbeaten pair of Jonny Bairstow and Jack Leach wanted to add quick runs to reduce the lead of the home side.
Australia wrapped up England on 294 in the morning session
On the fourth day, the game started on time in the morning. However, unbeaten batters Bairstow and Leach got out early. Leach tried to attempt a slog sweep off Nathan Lyon but it resulted in a top-edge and got caught by skipper Pat Cummins at mid-wicket. This wicket reduced England to 267 for eight.
Bairstow wanted to add quick runs before his side getting all-out, so he tried to guide the ball towards the third man, however, the ball took the edge of the bat and went safely into the gloves of wicketkeeper Alex Carey. The 32-year-old batter made 113 runs off 158 deliveries with the help of eight boundaries and three sixes. Also, pacer Scott Boland claimed the wicket of Stuart Broad and wrapped up the visitors’ first innings on 294. Australia took a substantial lead of 122 runs over England.
Australia lost David Warner early
Dawid Warner and Marcus Harris opened the batting for Australia. Warner struggled a bit before edging an out-swinging delivery bowled by right-arm pacer Mark Wood and makeshift wicketkeeper Ollie Pope took the simple catch behind the wicket. The first-choice wicketkeeper Jos Buttler was out of the field due to sustaining an injury. Warner could make only three runs in this innings.
Marcus Harris looked in fine touch early in the innings, however, he tried a drive off Jack Leach, which resulted in the edge and Pope took the low catch to the send the batter to the pavilion on 27.
Hosts suffer collapse, reduced to 86/4
As Australia lost two batters on 52, the premier batter of Australia, Steven Smith, came to bat in the middle. The umpires took the lunch break at the score of 66 for 2. After the break, Marnus Labuschagne lost his wicket while trying to cut a delivery bowled by speedster Wood and wickerkeeper Pope took his third catch in the innings. Smith smoked a huge six by pulling it towards square leg but got bowled by Leach on the score of 23. Australia lost the top four wickets on the score of 86.
Usman Khawaja and Cameron Green bring up century stand
Cameron Green and Usman Khawaja steadied the ship for the hosts and built a substantial partnership. Green pummelled two boundaries off James Anderson. The batting duo completed the partnership of fifty runs before the Tea break.
After the break, Khawaja and Green played the opposition bowlers confidently. Khawaja milked runs with the help of occasional boundaries. He hammered two boundaries off Broad in an over. Australia’s lead went past 300 runs in the meantime. Khawaja also slog-swept Leach over the mid-wicket boundary. Both batters continue to add runs by hitting boundaries in every over off Leach and Wood. Also, the batting duo pounced on the spin bowling of Root to add quick runs to swell the lead of the hosts. They brought up a century partnership for the fifth wicket.
Khawaja notches up the second century in SCG Test
Khawaja looked in phenomenal form to reach the century mark twice in the same Test match. He completed his century by taking a double off Dawid Malan. On other hand, Green played aggressively, however, he got caught by Root on the score of 74. However, Leach sent back the next batter, Alex Carey, to the pavilion on a duck on the next delivery.
After these two back-to-back wickets, Australia skipper Pat Skippers declared the innings on 265/6 hence posting a target of 388 runs in front of England to give a few overs to their bowlers to take some wickets.
England end Day 4 at 30/0; need an improbable 358 more
Zak Crawley and Haseeb Hameed started batting positively in front of the huge target of 388. Crawley pummelled a few boundaries to add quick runs. England openers concluded the day with a score of 30 without any loss.
What Lies next?
England have to play tomorrow the whole day to achieve a draw, so they would hope that rain comes to save them. This Test has been intermittently been affected by rain on the first three days, so that possibility cannot be ruled out in all fairness.
Australia would hope to take early wickets in the morning and then wrap up the innings of the visitors to win a straight fourth Test in the prestigious Ashes Test series 2021-22.
Here are some of the top twitter reactions from AUSvsENG SCG Test, Day 4: