New South Wales v Western Australia, Sheffield Shield, Sydney, 3rd day March 7, 2009

Khawaja's 172 leaves Warriors in danger of finishing bottom

Cricinfo staff

Western Australia 210 and 1 for 87 (Robinson 48*) trail New South Wales 8 for 526 dec (Khawaja 172*, Mail 59, Cowan 58) by 229 runs
Points table

Usman Khawaja's unbeaten 172 put New South Wales in a dominant position at the SCG © Getty Images

Usman Khawaja earned consecutive centuries as New South Wales spied a way out of last place following another fine day against Western Australia. The Warriors, who must avoid defeat so they aren't overtaken by the Blues, were 1 for 87 at stumps and were still 229 short of making the hosts bat again.

Khawaja, who scored his maiden hundred against Queensland last week, backed up with a strong 172 not out that took New South Wales to 8 for 526 before they declared with a 316-run lead. He had started cautiously on day two but lifted his rate when David Warner arrived, and there was more plundering on the third day as he finished with 22 fours and two sixes during an innings of 258 balls.

Dropped twice, on 115 and 161, Khawaja moved on from the misses during a superb performance. Daniel Smith offered support with 41 in the opening session and further contributions came from the tail as the Blues aimed to finish the season with an innings win. The spinners Josh Mangan and Aaron Heal picked up two wickets each, as did Brad Knowles and David Bandy.

Liam Davis left for 3 when caught behind off Nathan Bracken, but Luke Towers and Wes Robinson avoided further danger as they slowed things down. Robinson led the way with 48 from 140 balls while Towers had 33 off 142 at stumps.