Clarke’s double ton puts Oz in driver’s seat on day one of Adelaide Test
Sydney: Captain Michael Clarke carried on his extraordinary batting form on the first day of the second Test match against South Africa in Adelaide, as he scored his fourth double century of the year to put the hosts in a commanding position.
Australia reached an overwhelming 5-482 at stumps on Thursday against the world's No.1-ranked Test nation, which is also the equal most runs by an Australian team in a day.
David Warner returned to his blustering best with 119 from 112 balls and Mike Hussey brought up his second consecutive ton before being dismissed at the death for 103.
Clarke has already posted scores of 329 not out, 210 and 259 not out in 2012 and added another compelling unbeaten 224 from 243 balls on Thursday.
The Australian skipper and opener Warner combined for a lightning 155-run partnership, before Hussey and Clarke put on 272.
It was a record team total for a day's play at the Adelaide Oval and there's the prospect of much more with South Africa walking wounded.
Proteas' pace weapon Vernon Philander was ruled out before play with a back problem, while stars Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn were forced off the field during the day with hamstring problems.
Clarke smashed 39 boundaries and a six (including five fours off a Morne Morkel over to bring up his 150) and his 1265 runs this year at 140.55 are the 10th most in a year by an Australian.
Warner was in a venomous mood from the outset but, inspired by Kallis, South Africa pinned Australia back to 3-55 after Ed Cowan (10), Rob Quiney (0) and Ricky Ponting (4) fell within 15 balls.
When Kallis (2-19) hobbled off during his fourth over, Clarke and Warner took that as a licence to thrill.
Late in the day, Steyn (1-62) also left for the stands but in encouraging signs, he did return to the field before the close.