Khawaja savours special hundred in Pakistan

Islamabad-born Khawaja came agonisingly close to a hundred in the drawn opening Test in Rawalpindi but made amends in Karachi where the crowd at the National Stadium included four of his relatives.

Australia's Usman Khawaja jumps to celebrate his century during the 1st day of the second Test against Pakistan at the National Stadium in Karachi on Saturday.   -  AP

Australia's Usman Khawaja would not rate his hundred in the second Test against Pakistan as his best but it meant a lot to him coming in the country of his birth, the opener said on Saturday.

Islamabad-born Khawaja came agonisingly close to a hundred in the drawn opening Test in Rawalpindi that ended on Tuesday, when his 97 was the highest score for his side.

The elegant left-hander made amends in Karachi where the crowd at the National Stadium included four of his relatives.

"I was born in Islamabad but my parents are from Karachi, so this one meant a lot," Khawaja told reporters after Australia rode his unbeaten 127 to finish the opening day on 251-3.

It was his third century in four Tests, following his twin hundreds in the Sydney Ashes contest against England in January.

READ: PAK vs AUS Second Test Day One: Khawaja hundred propels Australia to 251-3 in Karachi

"It's hard to rate them all, for every Test hundred is pretty special. I think the Sydney ones are probably up there as my favourites.

"This one, after last week getting 97, it has got to be up there."

Khawaja's roots have made him popular in Pakistan and the crowd lustily cheered him after his 11th test hundred.

"It was really nice. In Islamabad they did the same and chanted 'Khawaja'. Here too when I got the hundred.

"They are so supportive, I could not have asked for more. I love it."

After the near-miss in the opening Test, Khawaja looked determined to reach the 100-mark in Karachi even if it meant shelving the reverse sweep which led to his dismissal there.

Asked if it was a conscious decision to banish the risky but productive shot, the left-hander said, "It's always in my repertoire... I just didn't think the ball was doing a whole lot today.

"I didn't need to take many risks to put pressure on the bowlers. There are easy runs out there."

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