Australian batsman Peter Handscomb acknowledges the crowd after being dismissed for 110 against Pakistan at the SCG yesterday. His average after four Tests is now 89.75.
Australian batsman Peter Handscomb acknowledges the crowd after being dismissed for 110 against Pakistan at the SCG yesterday. His average after four Tests is now 89.75. DAN HIMBRECHTS

Handscomb century sends records tumbling

CRICKET: Peter Handscomb's glorious summer of runs and tons has taken him where no Australian has been before.

His outstanding century against Pakistan at the SCG has taken his average to a mighty 89.75.

No Australian has ever boasted a better average after their first four Tests, eclipsing the 88.40 Mike Hussey averaged at the same stage in his career.

Handscomb's average soared above three figures before he was out in the most bizarre fashion - hit wicket.

His unusual technique of batting deep in the crease hurt the 25-year-old and he was so far back that in guiding on to the off side, he actually clipped the stumps.

Handscomb's extraordinarily consistent start in Test cricket means he has tied a 96-year-old Australian batting record.

His Sydney score took him past 50 for his fourth consecutive Test since debut - matching the effort of Herbie Collins (1920-21), the only other Australian to achieve the feat.

Having started the day on 40, Handscomb went on to make 110 before falling against the bowling of Wahab Riaz.

The Victorian's efforts helped Australia to a mammoth first-innings total of 8-538 declared.

Opener Matt Renshaw fell half an hour into the second day's play, chopping on against Imran Khan.

He departed to a standing ovation from the SCG crowd, having scored a classy 184.

Debutant Hilton Cartwright (37) and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade (29) also made handy contributions.

Renshaw fell just short of becoming the second youngest double-centurion in Test history - and the youngest ever Australian.

At 20 years and 281 days, if Renshaw had reached 200 he would have become the second youngest player after Javed Miandad (19 years and 140 days) to score a Test double-century.

The youngest Australian to achieve the feat was Don Bradman (21 years and 304 days) against England at Lord's in 1930.

Pakistan was in serious strife early in its reply after a two-wicket over from Josh Hazlewood.

Hazlewood dismissed Sharjeel Khan (four) and Babar Azam (none) in the fourth over to leave Pakistan dangling precariously at 2-6.

But Azhar Ali (58 not out) and Younis Khan (64 not out) combined to steady the ship, with Pakistan 2-126 at stumps.

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