Usman Khawaja had scored 277 run in this series until Tea    Getty Images
Usman Khawaja had scored 277 runs in this series until Tea Getty Images

Usman Khawaja s century put Australia in driver’s seat as they headed to the dinner break at 209 for 3. Australia are trailing by 50 runs aiming to build healthy lead by the end of Day Two at Adelaide Oval in Adelaide. Steven Smith and Khawaja s partnership was the under spotlight for a major part of the day until a simple miscommunication between the two consistent batsmen ended a long fine partnership of 137 runs. New batsman Peter Handscomb entered at No. 5 to provide supporting hand to Khawaja, who completed his fifth Test hundred. Khawaja and Handscomb have added 35 runs so far, playing at 108 and 14 respectively. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: Australia vs South Africa, third Test, Day One at Adelaide

Smith and Khawaja, resuming the second session playing at 58 and 23 respectively, continued their run-parade as Smith kept the flow of runs constant boosting Australia, enabling them to topple over South Africa and mounting pressure on the Proteas bowlers. Khawaja and Smith raced to their 100-run stand from 163 deliveries. Faf du Plessis tried many things and also employed JP Duminy to bowl off-spin. He almost produced the breakthrough that South Africa were eyeing.

An outside off delivery from Duminy travelled towards Amla s right, hit his palm and bounced up in the air. Amla went for second attempt. When he tried to grab the opportunity; his knee stuck and lost the balance, dropping an easy catch as well. Smith, who was playing on 46 then, heaved sigh of relief and achieved his 18th Test fifty in style as he smacked Rabada once again for a boundary through the fence. Just when situations were sailing in the right direction for Australia, the active opponents use Plan B.

A flighted delivery from Shamsi and Smith tries push it in front of cover-point and move for quick single. Khawaja takes a step forward but on noting Philander grabbing the ball, turns back leaving skipper Smith mid-way and Philander threw in time as wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock whipped off the bails in no time. That ended the fine partnership of 137 runs for third wicket. New batsman Handscomb was all set to make this chance count. Philander was called into attack and what could have been curtains to Handscomb innings as he punched an outside-off delivery to Philander, falling short to the bowler. ALSO READ: Usman Khawaja’s fifty keeps hosts in hunt

Meanwhile, Khawaja had responsibility on his shoulder. Khawaja s composed batting lead to his 5th Test century in style with boundary smashed to Shamsi. He soaked in all the applause from Adelaide Oval and celebrating in fashion.

In the first session, the game saw two different phase with the first half belonging to Proteas and second to the hosts. Australia headed to the tea break at 109 for 2 in reply to South Africa s 259 for 9 declared on Day One. Khawaja fought back and got his sixth fifty off 115 deliveries with successive boundaries off Abbott. He occupied the crease despite the fall of wickets of Matt Renshaw and David Warner. Khawaja got to 227 run until Tea in this series and added 72-run stand along with Smith.

Renshaw, who received praises from the cricket fraternity for his foot work and complimenting the opening batsman Khawaja, fell to superb catch by Elgar at the third slip. Warner, delaying his entry at No. 3, was caught in similar fashion at the third slip by Elgar. Abbott provided early breakthroughs for South Africa. Australia being beaten in the series, are avoiding first-ever whitewash at home as well as their sixth straight defeat in Test.

Brief Scores:

South Africa 259 for 9 (Stephen Cook 40, Faf du Plessis 118*, Quinton de Kock 24, Tabraiz Shamsi 18*; Mitchell Starc 2 for 50, Josh Hazlewood 4 for 36, Jackson Bird 2 for 57) lead Australia 209 for 3 (Usman Khawaja 108*, Steven Smith 59; Kyle Abbott 2 for 17) by 50 runs.