x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Historic performance from Clarke as Australia take charge against injury-hit South Africa

Michael Clarke become the first man in Test history to score four double centuries in a calendar year, as Australia finished the first day of the second Test against South Africa on 482-5. Audio interview.

Australia captain Michael Clarke celebrates his double century against South Africa in Adelaide.
Australia captain Michael Clarke celebrates his double century against South Africa in Adelaide.

Michael Clarke blasted his second double-century in consecutive innings to drive Australia to a convincing 482-5 on day one of the second Test against South Africa.

The Australia captain became the first man in Test history to score four double centuries in a calendar year, hitting 39 fours and a six to finish the day on an 224 in Adelaide.

South Africa's woes were compounded when they lost paceman Vernon Philander before play started with a back injury and Jacques Kallis with a suspected hamstring injury after lunch.

Dale Steyn, the world's top-ranked test bowler, took himself off after tea with another suspected hamstring strain,

Opener David Warner (119) and veteran Michael Hussey (103) also compiling centuries and hitting four sixes apiece.

But when Clarke arrived at the crease South Africa, who had lost the toss, were well in the game having struck early to leave the home side on 55 for three.

But while there were failures for Ed Cowan, Rob Quiney and Ricky Ponting, Warner and Clarke and Hussey led the fightback superbly.

Steyn, having returned to the field, finally broke the 272-run partnership when he bowled Hussey with the last ball of the day - but it was scant consolation for the Proteas.

South Africa's bowlers ended with ugly figures, with Tahir going wicketless for 159 runs, pillaged for more than seven runs an over.

The tourists face a Herculean task to turn things around at Adelaide and could lose their top test ranking should they lose the three-match series.

Listen to Michael Clarke and David Warner talk about the opening day performance and the pitch on our player below:

 

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