Khawaja helps Australia into strong position


Usman Khawaja scored his sixth Test century as Australia dominated the start of day three against England in Sydney on Saturday.

The left-hander, under pressure heading into the final Ashes Test, silenced his critics by reaching an unbeaten 132 at lunch.

Khawaja and captain Steve Smith (83) made the most of a flat SCG pitch to help Australia to 277-3, trailing by just 69 runs, in their first innings.

England's bowlers toiled before Moeen Ali (1-68) removed Smith in a much-needed breakthrough as the session finished in eventful fashion, with Khawaja lucky to survive.

While the tourists perhaps bowled a little short, there was little assistance, even when the second new ball was taken.

Resuming with Australia on 193-2 and Khawaja 91, the left-hander quickly brought up his first Ashes century with a cut for two.

England struggled to create opportunities as Smith and Khawaja pushed their partnership to 188.

Smith looked set for a fourth ton of the series before he chipped a return catch to Moeen just before lunch.

Mason Crane (0-73), still looking for his first Test wicket, almost had Khawaja before the break.

A caught and bowled chance fell just short before England later reviewed for an lbw, only for replays to show the leg-spinner had overstepped and that the decision would have been out.