Khawaja, Shaun Marsh put Australia in control of fifth Test
Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh helped Australia take control of the fifth Ashes Test against England in Sydney on Saturday.
Khawaja (171) scored his sixth Test century and Shaun Marsh (98 not out) looked in fine form on a flat SCG pitch on day three.
The duo, as well as Steve Smith (83) and Mitchell Marsh (63 not out), helped Australia – who hold an unassailable 3-0 series lead – to 479-4 at stumps, a lead of 133 runs.
Warm weather made for ideal batting conditions and the hosts capitalised, with the wicket offering little aside from some spin.
Debutant Mason Crane (1-135) picked up his first Test wicket and was unlucky not to finish the day with better figures, but the pitch is expected to deteriorate for the remaining two days.
Resuming on 91, Khawaja brought up his first Ashes century with a cut shot as the left-hander and Smith again looked comfortable.
It looked a matter of time before Smith scored his fourth ton of the series, only for the Australia captain to chip a return catch to Moeen Ali (1-125) before lunch.
In a dramatic end to an otherwise uneventful first session, Crane almost had Khawaja twice.
A caught and bowled chance fell just short before England reviewed an lbw off the leg-spinner, only for replays to show the 20-year-old overstepped – and that the ball was hitting the stumps.
Shaun Marsh and Khawaja pushed on during the middle session, the latter passing 150 as they put on 101 for the fourth wicket.
Joe Root thought he had Shaun Marsh caught behind when he was given out on 22, but replays showed the batsman had hit his pad and he survived after a review.
Crane finally got his first Test wicket in the third session as Jonny Bairstow stumped Khawaja.
When Mitchell Marsh was yet to score, England believed they had the all-rounder as Root took a catch off Crane and reviewed the not-out decision, but replays showed the delivery turned out of the footmarks.
Mitchell Marsh accelerated in the closing stages of the day before being given out lbw to Tom Curran (0-71), but he reviewed and the decision was overturned after showing an edge to end a frustrating Saturday for the tourists.