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Australia's Khawaja nears century against England

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Australia\'s Usman Khawaja (right) pulls a ball against England during the second day of their Ashes cricket Test match in Sydney on Friday.

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06th-Jan-2018       
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BBC Online :
Usman Khawaja's unbeaten 91 seized the initiative for Australia on the second day of the fifth and final Ashes Test in Sydney.
The left-hander shared an unbroken stand of 107 with captain Steve Smith (44 not out) to put the hosts within 153 runs of England's 346 all out with eight first-innings wickets still intact.
Ominously for Joe Root's side, both unbeaten batsmen appeared relatively untroubled on what appears to be a good surface for batting, albeit showing consistent signs of turn.
England earlier moved their overnight 233-5 to 346 all out in an action-packed morning session.
After Dawid Malan fell for 62, Moeen Ali chipped in with 30 before some edging, swiping and the occasional meaty blow brought Tom Curran 39 and Stuart Broad 31.
Pat Cummins, bowling with hostility, ended with 4-80, but he and Josh Hazlewood were both guilty of awful dropped catches off Curran and Moeen respectively.
Australia, who have already sealed the Ashes and lead the series 3-0, are looking to extend England's winless run down under to 10 Tests.
England's hopes of running through the Australia top order would have been raised by Broad finding a gap between Cameron Bancroft's bat and pad in the second over after lunch, only to be snuffed out by Khawaja, Warner and Smith.
The touring bowlers did little wrong on a surface that looks to be losing its pace and bounce. New-ball pair James Anderson and Broad went through their skills to provide a constant threat, while debutant leg-spinner Mason Crane looked capable of causing problems.
Warner, who had made centuries in his past three Tests in Sydney, looked primed for another when playing flowing cover drives. It took a clever off-cutter from Anderson to find the edge of the opener's bat.
Khawaja, out of sorts at first, played the supporting role in his partnership with Warner, but gradually became more comfortable in the company of Smith. The left-hander played square of the wicket on both sides and lofted the spinners down the ground - his half-century was reached with a straight six off Moeen.
On 26, the skipper edged Broad past diving wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow but, for the most part, was in to his familiar, infuriating work of nudging the ball behind square on the leg side.
Two wickets in the final seven deliveries of the first day left England's lower order exposed to the new ball on the second morning.
The tourists looked even more vulnerable when Malan, 55 not out overnight, edged Mitchell Starc to second slip, where Smith took a stunning catch, arcing his body to take the ball in his left hand just before it hit the turf.
First Curran offered a straightforward chance to mid-on off Nathan Lyon, only for Cummins to put it down. Four balls later, Hazlewood inexplicably failed to get a hand on the simplest catch in the same position when Moeen top-edged Cummins.

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