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Sport Gun's 'purple patch' reaps another ton on eve of Ashes

11:16  28 october  2021
11:16  28 october  2021 Source:   wwos.nine.com.au

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Usman Khawaja has made another giant statement in his quest to end his Test exile in the first match of the Ashes, peeling off his second Sheffield Shield century in as many games.

After resuming his innings on 63 at the start of day two, Khawaja climbed to 119 from 184 balls to help establish a dominant position for Queensland in their clash with Tasmania in Townsville.

Included in the 44-Test batter's knock were 11 fours and four sixes, as the Bulls recorded 6-487 declared.

The hefty total was also helped by Test first drop Marnus Labuschagne's 136 from 208, as well as impressive innings from former Test batters Matthew Renshaw (120 not out from 167) and Joe Burns (79 from 188).

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Queensland's Usman Khawaja has scored a second Sheffield Shield ton in as many games to further enhance his push for a Test recall in the Ashes. © Getty Queensland's Usman Khawaja has scored a second Sheffield Shield ton in as many games to further enhance his push for a Test recall in the Ashes.

In other Sheffield Shield news, Test all-rounder Cameron Green registered 61 from 94 on day two of Western Australia's game against South Australia.

Former Test batter Shaun Marsh has already compiled one ton and two half-century during the 2021-22 domestic season, but the 38-year-old was removed for just 11 runs on day two of Western Australia's fixture.

And incumbent Test opener Marcus Harris has reached stumps on day two of Victoria's game against NSW on 41 from 103.

Victoria's Marcus Harris is hoping to retain his spot at the top of Australia's order for the Ashes. © Getty Victoria's Marcus Harris is hoping to retain his spot at the top of Australia's order for the Ashes.

Khawaja's century followed his knock of 174 off 294 against South Australia at Adelaide Oval last week.

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The left-hander hasn't played a Test since the third match of Australia's 2019 Ashes tour of England, in which he was dismissed for eight and 23.

But his strong form in the Sheffield Shield and the uncertainty surrounding Will Pucovski have seen Khawaja re-emerge as a contender for David Warner's opening partner.

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"He's too good a batter to not be playing Test cricket," wrote Andrew Wu of The Sydney Morning Herald on Twitter.

Queensland's Usman Khawaja hasn't played a Test since the third match of Australia's 2019 Ashes tour of England. © Getty Queensland's Usman Khawaja hasn't played a Test since the third match of Australia's 2019 Ashes tour of England.

Radio host Adam White wrote: "He's playing as well as ever and is clearly in Australia's best-six batters".

Sports broadcaster Quentin Hull posted: "If Australia want the best-six batters to set up an Ashes series then Usman Khawaja MUST play at The Gabba on December 8".

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Sports broadcaster Glenn Mitchell wrote: "Mounting a very strong case for an Ashes call-up".

And writer Ben Eltham posted: "He's in a purple patch".

a man wearing a helmet holding a baseball bat: Australia's Usman Khawaja has played 44 Tests. © Getty Australia's Usman Khawaja has played 44 Tests.

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Pucovski, who notched a half-century on his Test debut against India at the SCG in January, had loomed as the likely option for Warner's opening partner for the Ashes until he suffered his latest concussion.

The 23-year-old Victorian was concussed while receiving throw-downs earlier this month.

The first match of the Ashes is scheduled to begin on December 8.

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