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Pak vs Aus 2022 – 3rd Test – Lahore


Australia batter makes 91 while battling sickness in the unforgiving heat of Lahore

Usman Khawaja revealed he was battling illness on the opening day of the final Test against Pakistan and “felt horrible” while making his 91 so was pleased to have contributed so many to Australia’s cause rather than being overly disappointed at missing another century.

Khawaja looked set to make his fourth hundred since returning to the Test side in January before edging a delivery from offspinner Sajid Khan which gripped considerably with Babar Azam taking a brilliant catch at slip.

It came during a period of play where Pakistan put their noses in front of the series-deciding contest with Travis Head also caught behind off the old ball. Australia had reached 146 for 2 shortly after tea on a Lahore surface that made run-scoring hard work. But those late wickets changed the game.

“I was really feeling it today, I was really struggling from the start,” Khawaja said. “The heat, I was a little bit sick, too. Got some medication off [the] doc in between the breaks, I wasn’t feeling well at all. It was more of a mind game for me, on some level I was really struggling to be out there.

“I was just telling myself ‘keep going, go as long as you can, keeping pushing through’ then to push through for five hours, when I felt absolutely horrible through the day, I take more out of that than anything. Could easily have gone harder, played a big shot, got out for 20 or 30. I felt horrible today so it was actually a win getting 90…I’m actually really happy with it.”

Khawaja was still delighted with the way he went about constructing the innings on what he termed was the toughest surface to score on in what has been a run-laden series. Whether that remains the case will play out over the next few days with Khawaja suggested 350 could be a challenging total.

“The ball was going down a lot, a lot of balls hit the toe of the bat, felt if anything I was more likely to get out the ball rolling under my bat which is weird on a day-one wicket. It reverse-swung from the 12th or 13th over the whole way through the day so made scoring quite difficult.

“There were a couple of balls that did grip a lot off the straight. There’s no rough there so assuming they are hitting cracks. It’s good signs for us. Hopefully we get everything right in the field…if we get close to 350 think that will be a really good total on this wicket.”

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