Khawaja breaks 26-year-old Ashes record, falls 4 runs short of Bradman's feat | Crickit

Usman Khawaja breaks 26-year-old Ashes record, falls just four runs short of Don Bradman's feat

Jul 31, 2023 06:03 PM IST

Usman Khawaja was in scintillating form in the 2023 Ashes and ended with a tally of 496 runs.

Usman Khawaja's Ashes series came to an end on Day 5 of the final Test with him scoring 72 off off 145 balls, falling LBW to Chris Woakes who had got his opening partner David Warner out in just his previous over. Warner and Khawaja had put up an opening partnership of 140 as Australia chase a target of 384 to seal their first Ashes series win in England since 2001.

Khawaja has done a star turn in Test cricket over the past two years. (AFP)
Khawaja has done a star turn in Test cricket over the past two years. (AFP)

Travis Head and Steve Smith have held fort for Australia unless either one of the batters finish with a score of over 160, Khawaja is set to finish as the highest run scorer in the series overall. He has scored one century and three half centuries and racked up a series tally of 496 runs, which is the highest by an Australian opener since 1997. The last Australian opener to do so was Matthew Elliot, who scored 556 runs, nearly half of the total runs he would score in his Test career, in the 1997 Ashes.

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Moreover, Khawaja has fallen four runs short of becoming the oldest Australian since the great Don Bradman to score 500 runs in an Ashes series. Bradman had scored 508 runs in the 1948 Ashes at the age of 39. He would have also become just the second Australian in this century to score 500 runs in an away Ashes series after Steve Smith.

Khawaja has been in sensational form for the past two years in Test cricket, averaging well over 60 and this has come since he turned 35. While he was previously regarded as a player who could not play spin, which led to him not being selected on Australia's tours of India, he plundered runs in their tour of South Asia last year. He scored a whopping 496 runs in five innings with two centuries and two half centuries in Pakistan last year after which he scored 333 runs in seven innings with one century and two half centuries in Australia's tour of India this year.

Khawaja's 2023 Ashes

Khawaja started the series by scoring 141 and 65 in the first Test at Edgbaston, thus playing a crucial role in Australia winning by two wickets. He then scored 77 in the second innings of the second Test which eventually helped Australia win by 43 runs. While his innings in the Australian second innings during the fifth Test was the next time he scored a half century in the series, he scored 43 in the second innings of the third Test and 47 in first innings at the Oval.

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