Australian opener Usman Khawaja was denied a shot at his maiden double hundred in Test cricket after Pat Cummins declared Australia’s first innings at the overnight score of 475/4 on Day 4 of the ongoing Pink Ball Test against South Africa.
Notably, after rain affected the first two days before Day 3 was completely washed out with Australia 475/4, Khawaja was unbeaten at 195 — his highest Test score. However, the Queenslander didn’t get the opportunity to reach the double hundred as Cummins decided to declare the Aussie first innings in order to gain an early advantage to win the contest and register a clean sweep over Proteas.
With that, Khawja joined an unwanted list that features none other than the legendary Sachin Tendulkar. The left-handed opener has become only the third player in the history of Test cricket when an inning has been declared with a player batting into his 190s.
The first instance of a captain declaring the innings when a batter was into his 190s occurred back in 1960 during England’s tour of West Indies. In the opening Test at Bridgetown, Caribbean skipper Gerry Alexander, who himself made 3 runs, declared the first innings at 563/8, with Frank Worrell staying unbeaten on 197.
The second such incident took place during India’s tour of Pakistan in 2004. Interestingly, it also happened on the series opener when Rahul Dravid decided to declare India’s first innings at 675/5, with Tendulkar batting at 194 in Multan. The tourists, however, managed to win the first Test by an innings and 52 runs.
Coming back to the ongoing third and final Test between Australia and South Africa, the hosts, after their eyebrow-raising declaration, have dismissed six wickets of Proteas for 149. Skipper Cummins wreaked havoc on the fourth day, taking three wickets while conceding 29 runs in 14 overs, including five maidens.