Australia's Usman Khawaja
Australia's Usman Khawaja celebrates reaching his century on day four of the fourth Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on January 8, 2022. Image Credit: AFP

Australia declared their intentions of going for an Ashes whitewash against England with another dominant day in Sydney.

The tourists were brought back down to earth with a bang a day after Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow had finally, belatedly showed that England have some fight in them.

On Day 4, Usman Khawaja racked up his second century of the match as Australia declared on 265-6, leaving England to chase a seemingly impossible target of 388. With Australia looking good for a 4-0 lead on the final day on Sunday — with England at 30-0 in reply at stumps on Saturday, Joe Root’s side will have to fight tooth and nail to avoid the ignominy of an Ashes whitewash in Hobart.

The Pakistan-born Khawaja has been in stunning form in his comeback from a 30-month Test exile, hitting 137 in the first innings before adding an unbeaten 101.

His domineering 179-run partnership with youngster Cameron Green set up a late declaration on Saturday, with England’s Zak Crawley on 22 not out and Haseeb Hameed on eight at the close, 357 behind.

The highest winning run chase in the fourth innings at Sydney Cricket Ground is 288-2 by Australia against South Africa in 2006. No touring team has gone past 200.

England have been dire and surrendered the Ashes inside 12 days. They have yet to pass 300 in the series.

Khawaja became the third Australian player to score twin centuries in 140 years of Ashes cricket at the SCG, and the sixth in a Test match. He toyed with the England bowling with his hundred flowing off 138 balls, laced with 10 fours and two sixes.

He had solid support from Green, who registered his second Test half-century with a confidence-boosting 74 before he top-edged Jack Leach to Joe Root.

Alex Carey surprisingly came out to bat and was out first ball to Leach, signalling the long-awaited declaration by skipper Pat Cummins.

Leach finished with 4-84 off 21.5 overs.

Khawaja and Green rebuffed England's efforts after the loss of key batsmen David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith to have the Australians at 86 for four.

Smith again failed to get going in a 31-ball stay and was bowled for 23 after he was late on the shot from a Leach skidder.

So far in the series, Smith has scored a total of 217 runs after scoring 93 in the second Adelaide Test. His series average stands at 36.16, well below his current Test average of 60.84.

Mark Wood once again captured the valued wicket of the number-one-rated Test batsman Labuschagne, having him caught behind for 29.

The Durham express bowler has now taken Labuschagne's wicket three times among his eight wickets in the series, in the space of 52 balls.

Australia lost openers David Warner (3) and Marcus Harris (27) before lunch.

The indefatigable Wood coaxed an outside edge off Warner for stand-in wicketkeeper Ollie Pope to take the catch.

Pope finished with four catches while deputising for Jos Buttler, who had X-rays after taking a blow to his left index finger on day two.

Buttler's injury will be evaluated at the end of the Sydney Test, team officials said.

The stand-in gloved a catch to dismiss Harris off spinner Leach.

England earlier added 36 runs before they were dismissed for 294, to give Australia a 122-run innings lead.

Jonny Bairstow added 10 more runs before he was caught behind off Scott Boland.

The big Yorkshireman soaked up the crowd's applause as he left the field, after his first Ashes century in Australia.

Bairstow faced 158 balls and hit eight fours and three sixes, battling on after taking a nasty blow to his thumb from Cummins when he was on 60.

Boland continued his remarkable series with his team's best figures of 4-36.

Since his extraordinary Test debut in Melbourne, where he was man of the match with 6-7, he has captured 11 wickets at 8.27.