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Khawaja century powers Aussies ahead of Proteas

 Agencies |  2016-11-26 23:09:28.0  |  Adelaide

Khawaja century powers Aussies ahead of Proteas

Iron-willed Usman Khawaja batted out the entire day to tilt the third day-night Test towards Australia with a masterful century against South Africa on Friday.

At the close on the second day in Adelaide, the Australians were 307 for six in reply to the Proteas' 259 for nine declared, with Khawaja unbeaten on 138 off 285 balls and Mitchell Starc not out 16. The home side lead by 48 runs.

It was Khawaja's fifth Test century and arguably his best as Australia seek to prevent the Proteas from an unprecedented series clean sweep after huge defeats in the opening two Tests.

Khawaja, who has performed best out of the Australian batsmen in a troubled series, led the way with his wristy shot-making to put the home side in front in the pink-ball Test. It was the first century by an Australian in the series and the stylish left-hander has now scored 307 runs in the three Tests. Khawaja and Handscomb strengthened Australia's grip before Kyle Abbott got one through the debutant's defences on 54.

The South African bowlers laboured to make a breakthrough for the first time in the series as Australia's batsmen finally put up a resistance after several humiliating batting collapses. Skipper Faf du Plessis used a total of seven bowlers in a bid to stop the Australian momentum, before taking the second new ball. Recalled wicketkeeper Matthew Wade lasted just six balls for four, but Starc stayed at the crease with Khawaja in the day's final overs.

The Proteas struck twice with the wickets of English-born newcomer Matt Renshaw and David Warner inside the first hour.

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