Europe

Khawaja, Marsh brothers take to England on day three

Related Story: Runs flow as Aussies surge ahead in Sydney, as it happened

England is all but assured of going through another away Ashes series without a win after Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh guided Australia to a big first-innings lead on day three.

Australia is 4-479 and leads the dead rubber at the SCG by 133 runs after Khawaja's first Ashes century finished on 171, three runs shy of his highest Test score.

But the elder Marsh took over from there and finished the day 98 not out, with brother Mitch at the other end on 63.

Shaun had a chance to reach the ton before the end of the day, but took a single off the last ball of the day and Mitch saw off the final five balls.

Mitch and Shaun Marsh chat at the crease

It would not be fair to say the hosts are tearing ahead — the scoring rate stayed below three runs an over for most of the day — although the Marshes are pushing the pace after Australia enjoyed a number of narrow escapes through the day.

Khawaja would have been out LBW if not for debutant leg-spinner Mason Crane over-stepping by a millimetre, while both Marsh brothers enjoyed successful reviews — caught behind and LBW respectively.

Instead, the Englishmen were forced to continue to toil in the field for another 90 overs, with the Marsh brothers continuing Khawaja's trend of chasing leather.

Earlier, the first drop watched captain Steve Smith (83) uncharacteristically fall short of three figures when he chipped an innocuous ball straight back to Moeen Ali in the opening session.

Khawaja then notched his first Test ton against England and looked untroubled as the off-spin of Moeen operated in tandem with the leg-spin of Crane for large swathes of the day's play.

English teammates join Mason Crane in celebrating his first wicket

He eventually ran past a wide ball from Crane and Jonny Bairstow completed a simple stumping after tea.

Australia held the lead, but the side's history with collapses prevented fans from getting too optimistic, until the Marsh brothers got going.

They upped the scoring rate and have hit 19 boundaries between them, with day four looking likely to bring more batting joy for Australia.

External Link: Fifth Ashes Test scorecard

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