At the end of the fourth day, on which rain refused to fall on twin centurion Usman Khawaja’s parade, England have 98 overs to bat to save the Sydney Test, which saw them win their third in Australia in 15 years. Will protect against whitewash.
The forecast was disappointing, but a full day’s play – spread over three innings – was possible, with rain coming five minutes after the end.
England began the day with 9.1 overs to bat, losing their last three first innings wickets, and finished batting on 11 overs, with their callo openers scoring 30 not out for their highest stand of the series.
In testing conditions, Zak Crawley – the more confident of the two – and Haseeb Hameed batted well to see Australia’s excellent attack. They are in the foothills in their attempt to save the game; Or, if you are more optimistic, chasing 388. Both men were probably grateful that Pat Cummins delayed the announcement beyond Khawaja’s second century of the match.
The lower order was less diligent at first, as Australia wrapped up England’s innings very quickly. He scored 294, his highest first-innings score of the series from some distance, but still could not breach 300 for the first time. He had left a deficit of 122, which was pretty clear at 36 for four, but still deep in sight to see.
They could have been a little more diligent, to be honest. Jack Leach, overconfident after a couple good strokes, looked to hawk Nathan Lyon, and was caught at midwicket.
It exposed Bairstow, along with Stuart Broad and James Anderson, and battling a thumb injury on Friday, could only add 10 to his overnight 103 before Scott Boland took the lead.
Broad had fun, and Anderson showed his reverse sweep (successful on first attempt, unsuccessful on second). Boland picked up a slogging broad to continue his remarkable start to his Test career.
Boland has 11 wickets at an average of 8.27, the lowest of any bowler to strike more than 10 times. It is perhaps no coincidence that Axar Patel (11.86 at 36), one of the top five on that list, also made his debut against England last year.
Everything was set up for a brutal David Warner century against an onslaught of Ben Stokes missing. Unlike Bairstow and Jos Buttler, he was less able to take the field, kept short with arm injuries that could have ended their tour. Among the bowlers available were James Anderson (35), Stuart Broad (35), Mark Wood (31, but adept at hours spent above 90 mph), and Jack Leach, who dominated across Australia, to score runs. Scored like a mature one. ,
To make matters worse, the absence of Bairstow and Butler means England have drafted Sam Billings for the fifth Test in Hobart, and Ollie Pope – as a defender in six first-class games, including the 2019 Hamilton Test. I was compelled. to sub
Pope was a revelation, taking four catches, equaling his Test record for a deputy fielder. The first was Warner, cheaply from Wood, the tireless charge, and the second was the world’s No. 1 Test batsman, Marnus Labuschagne. Wood was the bowler again; It was the third time he had dismissed Labuschagne since topping the charts just before Christmas. It took only 24 balls. Wood may only have nine wickets in four innings, but three are Labuschagne, one is Steve Smith and the other is Warner. He is the only England bowler to consistently trouble Australia’s best batsmen.
The early wickets and slow scoring rate allowed Leach to work his way up for the first time in the series with almost no offensive or defensive territory. And he picked up two wickets, Marcus Harris caught very well by Pope, then Smith’s prized skull, bowled mercilessly.
That wicket brought Khawaja and Cameron Green together and their 179-run partnership pushed Australia to the brink of declaration. Green scored 74, his first in the series, but struggled to go, especially against Leach, who tied him. Once I settled down, however, I have provoked the fast bowlers, especially with the back leg.
Khawaja, however, looked completely at ease. I’ve got the spinners quick and reverse-swapped, accelerating their innings perfectly. It was the first time he had scored twin centuries in first-class cricket, and he is only the third man to do so in a Test at his home ground, the SCG, whose patrons were as admired as two days earlier.
With Khawaja’s century, and Australia on their way to 400 – or maybe even Greene’s century? The young all-rounder played Holi to Leach. On the next ball, Alex Carey became the fourth and best catch of Pope’s innings, which declared Cummins. Leach was denied a hat-trick ball, and set England on a very difficult journey.