Smith falls but Khawaja ton anchors Australia

Lunch Australia 3 for 277 (Khawaja 132*, S Marsh 2*) trail England 346 (Root 83, Malan 62, Cummins 4-80) by 69 runs
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Usman Khawaja scored his first Ashes century, and his first Test hundred at the SCG, as Australia continued to chip away at England’s first-innings total on the third day. For the majority of the session, Australia cruised along with Khawaja and Steven Smith compiling a hefty partnership, 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 Ali, 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 one 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. But the end result was that when the players went off for lunch, Khawaja was still at the crease on 132, alongside Shaun Marsh on 2, and Australia were 3 for 277, having added 84 in the session. Their deficit was 69 runs.

Earlier, Khawaja had brought up his century from his 222nd delivery, and celebrated his first Test hundred at the venue that was his first home ground. 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.

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