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Smith-Khawaja blunt England attack on day two

Steven Smith (centre) remained unbeaten on 44
Steven Smith (centre) remained unbeaten on 44

England 346 (Root 83) v
Australia 193-2 (Khawaja 91no)
Fifth Ashes Test, Sydney, day two

After Australia managed to bowl out England for 346 runs in their first innings, Usman Khawaja scored an unbeaten 91 run knock to lift the hosts to 193 for two at stumps on day two of the fifth Ashes Test in Sydney.

England resumed their innings at 229 for five and in the seventh over of the day, Mitchell Starc (2-80) struck to have Dawid Malan (62) caught in the slips. Tom Curran (39) struck a couple of boundaries to begin the proceedings but he was handed a reprieve when Pat Cummins (4-80) dropped him at mid-on.

Australia continued to remain sloppy on the field as Josh Hazlewood (2-65) put Moeen Ali (30) down in the next over, this time Cummins was the bowler.

England added 59 runs in the first hour of play and soon after the break, Cummins made amends for his drop when he had Moeen caught behind but Curran along with Stuart Broad (31) decided to counter-attack the Australian attack.

The duo plundered two sixes and four boundaries combined in their 41 run stand and helped England reach close to the 350-run mark but it was Cummins once again, who dented their momentum when he had Curran caught at short leg.

From there on it was a matter of time for Australia to wrap up the innings as Nathan Lyon (1-86) deceived Broad, who went for slog sweep while an indecision in running led to the run out of the debutant Mason Crane (4). England were bowled out 346 runs at the end of the first session.

Nevertheless, they got off to a promising start with the ball when Broad (1-28) had Cameron Bancroft (0) dismissed in the second over to take his total wickets tally to 399.

Australia were put under considerable pressure as they managed just 18 runs off the first eight overs but a double change in the England attack released the pressure once again.

David Warner (56), who was playing with caution went after Curran (0-26) as he hit him for three boundaries in the 14th over and the 50-run stand between him and Khawaja (91 not out) came in the 17th.

England hardly had anything to celebrate but for Australia, their vice-captain brought another half-century but his 85 run stand with Khawaja ended when James Anderson (1-25) had him caught behind at the stroke of tea during which Australia were placed 96 for two.

Khawaja looked positive in the final session and reached his half-century with two boundaries and a six. He and Smith (44 not out) saw the entire final session through without losing a wicket.

The duo shared an unbeaten 107 run stand for the third wicket with the Australian skipper even reaching 6000 Test runs. Australia reached 193 for two at stumps on day two and are still trailing England by 153 runs.

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