Queensland vs South Australia, scores, Usman Khawaja posts crucial century

Former Test star Usman Khawaja has snapped out of his recent form slump to post a crucial century on day three of Queensland’s Sheffield Shield clash with South Australia.

Khawaja, 34, managed only 45 runs across his first three innings of the summer, but just when his chances of earning a Test recall appeared to be fading, the Queensland skipper came up with a true captain’s knock.

The Bulls had been on the back foot ever since their abysmal batting collapse on day one and needed a prolific second innings if they were any chance of holding the Redbacks at bay.

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Enter Khawaja.

His steady partnership with Marnus Labuschagne yielded 77 runs but Khawaja was undeterred when the star batter was sent packing. On a wicket much less batter-friendly than Karen Rolton Oval, where his side played its last Shield match, the skipper brought up his 31st first class hundred.

He had luck on his side — the Redbacks dropped him on 19 on day two and on day three, the umpire was unmoved by what looked to be a textbook catch from wicketkeeper Alex Carey.

At stumps, Khawaja was unbeaten on 158 runs, which was more than the entire Queensland XI posted in the first innings. Jimmy Peirson’s 89 helped the Bulls to finish the day at 4-370, 242 runs ahead of South Australia.

Khawaja hasn’t played Test cricket since he was dropped midway through the last Ashes in August 2019 but his versatility could play into his hand if he can keep this form up — Khawaja has both opened the batting and slotted into the middle order at Test level.

Khawaja was the hero for Queensland on day three. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

If Marnus Labuschagne’s unique blend of celebration and appeal amused cricket fans in the clash with Tasmania, a moment during his stint at the crease on Sunday would’ve left them in stitches.

On strike on day three, Labuschagne was hit in the most sensitive of areas by a bouncer from former teammate Brendan Doggett.

Labuschagne dropped to his knees and remained on the ground for close to 10 minutes.

“From experience, it’s not a nice place to be hit, and there’s not much you can do,” said Tom Cooper in commentary.

Labuschagne was able to continue and went on to post the slowest 40+ score of his first-class career, facing 179 balls before he was dismissed LBW by Nathan McAndrew on 45.

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