Usman Khwaja‘s dream return to Test cricket continued with a historic second century in two innings on day four of the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney on Saturday, helping Australia set a mammoth 388-run target for England to try and chase on the fifth and final day. 

Khwaja, who scored 137 in his first innings for the national side since 2019, capped another dominant day with an unbeaten 101 from 138 deliveries to lead the hosts to 265 for six declared. 

The Islamabad-born southpaw joined elite company with his feat, as it was only the third time a batsman notched twin centuries at the Sydney Cricket Ground, after Doug Walters and former Australia captain Ricky Ponting.

Khwaja also became only the ninth batsman to score twin centuries in an Ashes Test and only the 10th in Test history to notch twin centuries batting at number 5 or below. His match tally of 238 runs has now surpassed every England batsman’s series tally, except Joe Root

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The 35-year-old also stitched the highest partnership of the series, of 179 runs for the fifth wicket, with Cameron Green – who pitched in with a sound 122-ball 74, as the two guided Australia from a wobbly 86 for four to a position of strength. 

England openers Zak Crawley (22) and Hasseb Hameed (8) survived 11 overs in fading lights to help the tourists finish the day unscathed at 30 for no loss, another 358 runs behind the target. 

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The Three Lions now have to complete a record chase at the SCG or survive 98 overs, if the weather permits, to deny Australia another home Ashes whitewash. Rain is also forecast for the final day, which might help England steal a draw. 

The record fourth innings chase at the SCG is 288 runs, achieved by Ponting’s Australia against South Africa in 2006 – with the former skipper scoring twin centuries to lead the win.

Starting the day at 258 for seven, England could only manage to add another 36 runs as Nathan Lyon and Scott Boland cleaned up the lower order to help establish a 122-run first innings lead.   

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Spinner Jack Leach took four wickets for England, in one of his best bowling performance of the series to the visitors make early inroads. Leach dismissed Marcus Harris (27), the prize wicket of Steve Smith for 23, before dismissing Green and Alex Carey off the last two deliveries of Australia’s innings. 

Express pacer Mark Wood dismissed Warner (3) and Marnus Labuschagne (29), both caught behind by Ollie Pope, who had replaced injured wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.