The Ashes: Usman Khawaja century puts Australia on top in fourth test against England

After two years in the wilderness, Usman Khawaja has celebrated his recall to the test arena with a stylish 137 to drive an Australian declaration shortly before the close of play on the second day of the fourth Ashes test.

Seamer Stuart Broad took 5/101 in England's cause, and openers Zak Crawley and Haseeb Hameed - both two not out - survived five torrid overs before stumps to give the tourists a small morale boost, after another day of Australian dominance.

Chasing Australia's 416/8, England will resume with 13 runs on the board, desperate for a good showing at Sydney, after suffering heavy defeats at Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne to go 3-0 down in the five-match series.

Their main obstruction at the Sydney Cricket Ground was Khawaja, who was brought into the Australian side for Travis Head, after the middle-order batsman tested positive for COVID-19.

Clearly relishing his latest comeback at the ground where his test career began in the 2011 Ashes test, the 35-year-old was equal parts stylish and unflappable, as he put England to the sword.

He survived a scare on 28, when he edged a delivery from England spinner Jack Leach, but the ball evaded wicketkeeper Jos Buttler and Joe Root was unable to hold the catch at first slip.

The lefthander made the most of his reprieve, picking the moments to deploy his elegant strokes and bringing up his ninth test century with three runs through square leg just before the tea break.

But his celebration was anything but elegant, as he treated the applauding 24,855 crowd to a rendition of the 'Silencer' moves made famous by NBA star Lebron James.

"The SCG, honestly, it was probably the most touching, humbling, amazing feeling out there today, getting that hundred," he said. "I never expected it ... the love I've got out there today, I'll never forget."


Four years to the day since he hit 171 in the last Ashes test at the SCG, Khawaja seemed headed for a similar score, when he played on to give Broad England's first five-wicket haul of the series.

Khawaja, who hit 13 fours in his 260 ball innings, combined with Steve Smith in a 115-run fourth-wicket partnership that frustrated England's hopes of making early inroads into the Australian batting.

Stuart Broad celebrates the wicket of Steve Smith
Stuart Broad celebrates the wicket of Steve Smith. Photo credit: Getty

Broad, who was left out of the side for the Brisbane and Melbourne tests, finally separated them, when Smith edged the ball behind on 67 after lunch and then he quickly dispatched all-rounder Cameron Green for five.

The hour before tea, Alex Carey departed for 13, holing out in the deep off England captain Root's spin.

Broad returned after the break to remove Pat Cummins for 24, with a fizzing delivery that the Australia skipper gloved behind.

England's cause was not helped by an injury to all-rounder Ben Stokes, who was treated for "tightness" in his left side just before lunch, with the team confirming that he was unable to bowl for the rest of the day.

"Pleased to have had an impact," says Broad. "Would have preferred it to be 5/30, not 5/100 - there's no doubting it was Australia's day - but when you miss out on test matches, it makes you realise how special it is to play."