Rain managed to pose more of a problem to Usman Khawaja than the South African bowlers previously did after the third day of the final Test match in the series was completely washed out.
Khawaja will be left to twiddle his thumbs and envision all of the possible double century making strokes he could make for a little while longer yet after he was once again left stranded on 195.
Around 50 overs had already been lost due to rain and bad light during the opening two days at the SCG, but that paled in comparison to the entirety of Friday’s action being washed away in the midst of a La Nina weather pattern.
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“It sucks,” Khawaja said after being unable to get the five runs needed to post his maiden double Test ton.
However, despite protestations about deviating from tradition and moving the Sydney match to December to cater for the wild weather, Khawaja remained a supporter of the city retaining the rights to the New Year’s Day Test.
“I don’t (want to change the date),” he said.
“I’m all for change, but I do like tradition. Boxing Day and Sydney’s always on my mind.
“The week before this, it wasn’t raining at all. I think it’s pretty unlucky that we actually got rain this specific week.”
The hosts had eased their way to 4-475 when rain stopped play on day two and they weren’t given the opportunity to build on this lead as persistent drizzle turned into torrential downpours before the umpires eventually decided to cut their losses.
The abandonment of the day’s play becoming the 26th time this has happened at the SCG which is 26 times more than has occurred in Perth and 17 more than at the MCG.
By popular demand, complete days washed out in Test matches in Australia:
0 Perth (47 Tests)
1 Hobart (14)
2 Adelaide (81)
8 Brisbane (67)
9 MCG (115)
25 Sydney (110)
24 Manchester (+ 2 abandoned Tests)
— Ric Finlay (@RicFinlay) January 5, 2023
“Time is now the enemy,” Khawaja declared.
“A result is very unlikely, let’s be honest, but it’s still possible. There will still be an opportunity to try and win this game.”
The washout leaves the Aussies with a big first innings lead but with only two days left to bowl South Africa out twice.
The Proteas have been woeful with the bat so far this tour, registering over 200 runs just the once. Although more rain is forecast for Saturday, before clear conditions are tipped for the final day.
“I can’t imagine us batting all day tomorrow. I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Khawaja said.
“If you don’t give yourself a crack to try and win the game, you’ve done the game a disservice.”