Tea Australia 3 for 365 (Khawaja 166*, S Marsh 54*) lead England 346 by 19 runs
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Usman Khawaja batted on and on as Australia moved into the lead on the third day against England at the SCG, where Khawaja and Shaun Marsh batted through the middle session for no loss. On a difficult day for England that had so far brought them only one wicket, as well as a few frustrations, the Australians went to tea on 3 for 365, leading by 19 runs, with Khawaja on 166 and Marsh on 54.
Marsh survived a close call on 22 when he was given out caught behind off the part-time offspin of Joe Root, and after consulting with Khawaja, he called for a review. It was hard to work out why Marsh had not reviewed immediately, for the replays showed between bat and ball a gap big enough that Cameron Bancroft could almost have been bowled through it. That was England’s only close call in the session, and Marsh brought up his fifty just before tea off his 121st ball.
Khawaja continued to accumulate his runs gradually, raising his 150 from 334 deliveries with a pair of consecutive boundaries off Moeen Ali. By the end of the session, Khawaja had been at the crease for 368 deliveries, which made this comfortably his longest innings in first-class cricket, as well as the longest by any Australian other than Steven Smith in a Test for more than five year. At tea, his partnership with Marsh was worth 90 runs.
The second session ended in far less frenetic fashion than the first. Khawaja and Smith had batted through most of the morning session but an eventful final two overs before lunch brought the end of Smith’s innings and denied legspinner Mason Crane a maiden Test wicket due to a no-ball.
Smith had batted on and on and seemed destined for his fourth hundred of the series, but on 83 he chipped a return catch to Moeen, who was bowling around the wicket. It was just Moeen’s fourth wicket of the series, and the first time he had dismissed a right-hander in this campaign, and the wicket against the run of play ended a 188-run stand between Smith and Khawaja, who had batted with little trouble through most of the session.
Further drama was to come in the next over, the final over before lunch. Coming around the wicket, Crane turned a big legbreak in to Khawaja, who thrust his pad out without playing the ball, and England asked for a review of the not-out lbw decision. But replays showed that, by a small margin, Crane had failed to land his foot behind the crease, and a no-ball was called. Ball-tracking went on to show that Khawaja would have otherwise been out.
It was a frustrating end to the session for England and for Crane, who is the second England bowler in this series to miss out on his maiden Test wicket due to a no-ball. Seamer Tom Curran suffered a similar fate at the MCG.
Earlier, Khawaja had brought up his century from his 222nd delivery, and celebrated his first Ashes hundred and his first Test century at the SCG. It was not only Khawaja’s first Test century in more than a year, but also just his second at first-class level since the start of 2017.