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Usman Khawaja's timely ton saves Australia A, presses for Test spot

Posted by On 5:40 PM

Usman Khawaja's timely ton saves Australia A, presses for Test spot

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Bangalore: Usman Khawaja has taken a major step towards confirming his place in the first Test against Pakistan with a maiden first-class century in India.

Khawaja provided the backbone of Australia A's innings on day one of a four-day match against India A, saving the tourists with 127 from 228 balls in a timely knock that included 20 boundaries.

Usman Khawaja has scored his maiden first-class ton on the subcontinent.

Usman Khawaja has scored his maiden first-class ton on the subcontinent.

Photo: AAP

It was welcome breakthrough for the left-hander, who's struggled on Asian pitches with a Test average of 14.62 on the subcontinent.

Khawaja's technique against spin has long been a headache for national selectors.

But his century in Bangalore as his teammates struggled is almost certain to be rewarded with national XI selection.

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Australia will play their first Test since an ill-fated South African tour when they meet Pakistan at the Dubai International Stadium on October 7-11.

The Australian team will be named at the end of the two-match series against India A.

Australia A captain Mitchell Marsh won the toss but he was among a middle order that collapsed, with Travis Head (4) and Peter Handscomb (0) also failing after Khawaja and Kurtis Patterson (31) put on 78 for the opening wicket.

Khawaja needed lower-order support from Marnus Labuschagne (60) to give Australia's A innings respectability.

Labuschagne was not in the initial 14-man squad but Matt Renshaw's hamstring injury opened the way for a late call-up.

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He made the most of his opportunity, facing 105 balls for 11 boundaries in a 114-run fifth-wicket partnership with Khawaja.

Khawaja and Labuschagne fell to India A seamer Mohammed Siraj, who tore through Australia A to finish with 8-59 from 19.3 overs.

Siraj snared the first five Australian A wickets to fall and he had Khawaja caught behind to end the innings.

India A advanced to 41 without loss with Mayank Agarwal (31) and Ravikumar Samarth (10) surviving 12 overs before stumps.

AAP

  • Australia
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