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Australia build against England

Article image for Australia build against England

Australia moved within 250 runs of England’s first-innings total thanks to David Warner and Usman Khawaja.

The pressure is mounting on under-fire opener Cameron Bancroft as David Warner and Usman Khawaja led Australia to 96-2 at tea on day two of the fifth Ashes Test.

Bancroft lasted less than two overs when he was bowled by Stuart Broad for a duck before Warner’s half-century and Khawaja (36 not out) helped the Australians move within 250 runs of England’s first-innings total at the SCG in Sydney on Friday.

Warner (56) looked to have settled in at the crease after celebrating his 27th Test fifty and fourth of the series but the big-hitting batsman edged a James Anderson (1-12) delivery through to Jonny Bairstow minutes before tea.

England’s tail wagged early on the second day but the tourists were eventually all out for 346 prior to lunch as Pat Cummins starred with the ball and captain Steve Smith took a stunning one-handed catch.

In sunny conditions and on a favourable batting wicket, the stage was set for Bancroft to silence some of his doubters amid criticism over his form in the Ashes, having only managed scores of 10, 4, 25, 26 and 27 to go with an unbeaten 82 and 5 in his debut Test at the Gabba in November.

But the 25-year-old did little to dismiss his naysayers, a full and straight delivery from Broad (1-18) nipping back past the inside edge and into middle stump.

That was the first blemish on an otherwise solid afternoon for Australia as Khawaja – subjected to his own criticism throughout the Ashes – teamed up with Warner to build a solid foundation for the Aussies.

Khawaja’s skill and stroke play frustrated Anderson, Moeen Ali, Tom Curran and debutant Mason Crane, while Warner continued to play his trademark shots before he was sent back to the pavilion, bringing skipper Smith (3 not out) to the middle.