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Usman Khawaja Faces Bat Dilemma With Olive Branch Logo Sticker
By CricShots - Mar 2, 2024 11:25 am
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On the third day of the ongoing first Test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in Wellington, Usman Khawaja faced an unusual challenge when his bat cracked, leading to a replacement in the opening session. The substitute, Matthew Renshaw, offered several options for Khawaja to choose from.

usman khawaja
Usman Khawaja

Interestingly, the bat he selected sported a dove logo with an olive branch, a sticker that had become controversial during Australia’s series against Pakistan in 2023-24. Khawaja had initially chosen to use the logo in December 2023 as a means to raise awareness for the war in Gaza. However, the International Cricket Council (ICC) deemed it a ‘political protest’ and prohibited its use in international cricket.

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Despite multiple meetings with ICC officials and Cricket Australia (CA), no resolution was reached in Khawaja’s favour, forcing him to abandon the logo. On the third day of the Test against New Zealand, Khawaja was again asked to remove the dove and olive branch logo from his replacement bat. Despite the setback, he managed to score 28 runs in the second innings as Australia set a target of 69 runs.

 The New Zealand bowlers dominated in the second innings, dismissing the visitors for 164 runs. Glenn Phillips, the all-rounder, showcased an exceptional performance, claiming a remarkable five-wicket haul, while Matt Henry secured three wickets.

Notably, Nathan Lyon, batting at number 4, emerged as the top scorer for Australia in the second innings. Serving as a ‘night watchman’ on Day 2, the off-spinner proved his worth by scoring 41 runs. Cameron Green, who had hit a century in the first innings, contributed 34 runs, but six Australian batters failed to reach double digits, allowing New Zealand to make a strong comeback in the game.

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In their chase, the hosts faced an early setback with the quick dismissals of Tom Latham and Kane Williamson. Losing Williamson early in pursuit of a substantial target dealt a significant blow to their start. However, players like Rachin Ravindra, Daryl Mitchell, and Phillips have the potential to turn the tide. With seven wickets in hand and a target of over 300 runs, both teams find themselves evenly matched in the contest.