06 December 2016
Another Pink Ball Ton For Khawaja
Usman Khawaja's love affair with the pink ball has continued, with the in-form batsman scoring a century for the myFootDr Queensland Bulls in their Sheffield Shield clash with Western Australia at the WACA Ground. Khawaja scored an unbeaten 147 from 259 balls to power Queensland to 6-333 at stumps on day one. The 29-year-old was named man of the match for his sparkling 145 in the recent day-night Test win over South Africa. And his purple patch against the pink ball flowed into the Shield arena on Monday, with WA's bowlers unable to find a way through Khawaja's defences. He cracked 20 boundaries on the way to his 20th first-class century, keeping his composure despite a steady fall of wickets around him. His knock was also the perfect tune-up going into the day-night first Test against Pakistan in Brisbane, starting on December 15. But while Khawaja cashed in at the WACA, Test newcomer Matt Renshaw missed the chance to bulk up on his pink-ball experience. Renshaw, who made 10 and 34 not out in his Test debut in November, was dismissed for 38 after edging paceman Josh Nicholas through to the wicketkeeper. WA managed to snare wickets at regular intervals, but Khawaja ensured there would be no major collapse. Former Test opener Joe Burns was the first batsman to fall, making 14 off 12 balls before edging Nicholas behind. At 5-182 and with night falling, Queensland were in a spot of bother. But Khawaja and Michael Neser (59no) ensured the Bulls would reach a formidable total. Neser was dropped on 23 by Cameron Bancroft at slip in what has proven to be a costly mistake for the home side. "Hopefully we can get a few more runs (on Tuesday), and then get WA out there and bowl well enough to set up this game," Khawaja said. "But there's still a lot of cricket left, so we won't get too far ahead of ourselves."