Usman Khawaja’s Century Puts Australia in Control of Ashes Test

Usman Khawaja’s Century Puts Australia in Control of Ashes Test

Usman Khawaja played a pivotal role in Australia’s resurgence on day two of the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston, scoring an unbeaten century and guiding his team to a commanding position.

His brilliant innings of 126 not out helped Australia reach 311-5, just 82 runs behind England’s declared first innings total of 393-8.

Khawaja’s knock was characterized by his patience and skill, as he capitalized on missed opportunities by the English team. His century became even more significant when Stuart Broad bowled a no-ball on 112, giving Khawaja a second chance that he seized upon. England also dropped Alex Carey twice, on 26 and 46, adding to their frustration.

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Alongside valuable partnerships with Travis Head (50) and Cameron Green (72), Khawaja provided stability to the Australian innings. Moeen Ali, making a comeback to Test cricket, dismissed Head and Green. However, Khawaja remained resolute, forming an unbroken partnership of 91 runs with Alex Carey, who finished the day on 52 not out.

Australia’s position in the match has significantly improved, and they now have the opportunity to take a first-innings lead. The dry pitch at Edgbaston is expected to deteriorate further, emphasizing the importance of establishing a substantial lead.

Despite a strong start in the morning session, England failed to capitalize on their early advantage. They missed crucial chances and committed four errors, including Jonny Bairstow’s lapses behind the stumps. These missed opportunities may prove costly for England in the context of the match.

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Usman Khawaja’s century holds particular significance as he had faced criticism for his previous performances in England.

However, he displayed remarkable resilience and composure throughout his innings, becoming a constant presence in partnerships that helped Australia recover from a precarious situation.

Khawaja’s elegant batting style was on full display as he confidently played shots off both the front and back foot. He punished England’s bowlers whenever they erred in length, showcasing his effective pulling and driving abilities.

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The joy of reaching his century was evident as he threw his bat into the air, and he later brought his daughter to the news conference, highlighting the personal significance of the achievement.

Overall, Usman Khawaja’s century and his partnerships with fellow Australian batsmen have turned the tide in the first Test of the 2023 Ashes series. Australia now holds a strong chance of gaining the upper hand in the match, setting the stage for an exciting continuation of the series.

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