In-form Khawaja elated with Boxing Day century


Usman Khawaja was delighted to continue his impressive Test form for Australia as he overcame a tough opening session to score 144 on day one against West Indies.

Khawaja made it three centuries in four innings with a diligent knock in Melbourne on Boxing Day on his return from a hamstring injury.

Arriving at the crease with the score 29-1, Khawaja and Joe Burns (128) put together a 258-run stand for the second wicket.

Khawaja struck six fours and one six before being dismissed late in the day by Jerome Taylor (2-83) as the hosts closed on 345-3.

"I'll enjoy the moment," he said. "A hundred on Boxing Day, my first Boxing Day, a 250-run partnership with Burnsy, we couldn't have asked for a lot more on day one. 

"I think we are both a little disappointed we didn't get massive ones but at the end of the day we've done what we needed to do to hopefully set up this first innings for Australia, to get a big total tomorrow and really drive this game.

"Early on was quite tough to bat, I found it really hard to penetrate the in-field, at one point I thought it was my bat, I thought I had a broken bat! 

"But it was just that the wicket was slow, and they bowled pretty well in the first session. After lunch we realised it had quickened up, and in the second session we got a lot of runs off them. 

"The hard work had to be done early on, that was the key for us to do well today."

After questions over who would open with David Warner ahead of the second Test, Burns was again given the nod and he proved the selectors right with a 230-ball knock that included 17 boundaries.

"I was satisfied to make a hundred as an opening batter," Burns said. "You have to do those things to do well on day one. 

"To go out today and make another hundred was really satisfying, but my job is to do that week in, week out.

"When they bowled it in the right areas it was difficult so that's the satisfying thing. 

"We went through some periods where we didn't score, but we were able to hold them off and pick and choose when to attack. It is always a nice feeling to have a hundred next to your name at the end of the day."