Usman Khawaja and Steve Smith scored centuries as Australia built a massive lead before rain intervened again on day two of the SCG’s third Test against South Africa on Thursday.
Australia had 475-4 on the stumps after play was interrupted by light rain over drinks in the final session with Khawaja undefeated at 195* alongside Matt Renshaw (5*).
The hosts completely dominated, taking Proteas to submission with only two goals down on 84 shots thrown for the day. However, the question of time remaining in the test is big after more delays on day two, with a bleak weather forecast for Sydney in the coming days.
Khawaja restarted with Smith against Australia 148-2 after only 47 overs on the first day due to a combination of bad light and rain.
After an early delay due to rain, the 36-year-old left-handed batsman led from the front, picking up his 13th Test Century with two off Kagiso Rabada late in the opening session.
Khawaja celebrated his third SCG 100 in a row with an aerial strike and a small jig. Soon after, Smith recalled his half-century.
South African captain Dean Elgar apparently tossed the old ball away when the Proteas took the new ball shortly before lunch, but this led to few chances for the tourists.
Smith continued his 30th Test century by overtaking the great Sir Donald Bradman by pulling to the back limit of square leg with Anrich Nortje to reach the triple.
But the vice-captain was sacked, caught and behind by Keshav Maharaj for a 104 in the next inning, ending their 209-run third goal. This marked the pair’s 10th century partnership of 33 rounds.
Travis Head kept the game moving with aggressive striking play, hitting eight fours and one six before being caught by subfielder Rassie van der Dussen in deep field next to tiring Rabada.
Renshaw, who tested positive for COVID on day one and had to keep his distance from his teammates, bounced back late on the day before the stumps were announced.
Patient Khawaja pierces
Khawaja finished the day undefeated at 195, dealing 368 deliveries with 19 fours and one six, rebounding the first two days, albeit with numerous delays. The Queenslander scored 195*, his highest test score, and will be fighting for double 100 in his maiden test on Friday.
Maharaj breaks ducks
Proteas orthodox left-handed spinner Maharaj went on a poor run before scoring Smith’s goal, his first in three Tests. This dismissal ended Maharaj’s dire record of 0-247 with 66.5 overs in the series.