Clarke ton puts Australia in charge in Adelaide

IAN RANSOM
Last updated 20:58 06/12/2013
Michael Clarke
Getty Images
RUN MACHINE: Michael Clarke celebrates his century in the second Ashes test.

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Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin scored centuries as Australia ran rampant before declaring at 570-9 today, then Mitchell Johnson bowled England captain Alastair Cook to cap a strong performance by the hosts on day two of the second test.

After all the talk of a low and slow Adelaide Oval pitch, Johnson bowled in excess of 150kmh in his first over and beat Cook (3) for pace as he took out the off stump to have England reeling at 9-1.

Michael Carberry (20) and Joe Root (9) cautiously navigated the remainder of the 21 overs before stumps to help England reach 35-1 in reply.

Earlier, Clarke (148) and Haddin (118) shared a 200-run sixth-wicket stand after Australia resumed at 273-5.

Clarke passed 1000 runs in the calendar year as he posted his second hundred in as many tests, salvaging the innings after Australia had lost quick wickets to be 174-4 after winning the toss on day one.

His dismissal triggered a slide of 3-26 before a late cameo by Ryan Harris, who hit 55 from 54 balls and hurried on the declaration.

Harris clubbed sixes on consecutive balls from Graeme Swann to lift Australia past 500 after coming in at No. 9. Those were just two of Australia's dozen sixes in the innings, including five from Haddin.

The 36-year-old wicketkeeper had some luck, getting three reprieves from some hapless England fielding before reaching his fourth test century. It followed his 94 and 53 in Australia's 381-run win in the first test and again played a key role in restoring the innings.

''When the captain and vice-captain lead the way, that is pleasing to see,'' said Darren Lehmann, who was rushed into the Australia coaching role after Mickey Arthur was fired in July and lost three of his first five tests to England before the drought-breaker last month in Brisbane.  

Johnson unsettled England with some short-pitched bowling in Brisbane, where he took nine wickets, and had more of the same early in Adelaide.

After removing Cook, he cannoned a short ball into Root's chest guard at almost the same speed in the penultimate over to rock the English batsmen. TV replays later showed he would have got an lbw decision against Carberry on the last ball, too, if Australia had called for a review.

''A beautiful delivery to get their skipper,'' Lehmann said.

''Hopefully that can continue.''

Australia dominated right from the start on Friday after sharing the honours with England on day one. The top order all got starts but failed to convert until Clarke and George Bailey (53) joined forces in an 83-run fifth-wicket stand. England's fielders contributed by dropping three catches late on day one.

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Those, plus two more missed catches and a missed run-out cost England hundreds of runs.

Clarke came into the test averaging more than 100 at the Adelaide and notched his sixth test hundred at the Adelaide Oval.  

The captain, who missed training earlier in the week with an injured right ankle, had a couple of chances on 18 and 91 but was otherwise on top of the attack in a 245-ball innings that contained 17 boundaries.

He was finally out to a tired chip at a slower ball from Ben Stokes, giving the New Zealand-born allrounder a big first wicket in test cricket. Stokes earlier thought he had Haddin caught behind for 51, but the TV umpire ruled a no-ball.

After Clarke's departure, Johnson (5) and Peter Siddle (2) gave Swann and Stokes their second wickets of the innings.  

Harris took up the attack late with Haddin and then in the unbeaten 41-run last-wicket stand with Nathan Lyon, who was unbeaten on 17 when Clarke declared.

Stuart Broad returned the best figures for England's bowlers with 3-98, while spinners Swann (2-151) and Monty Panesar (1-157) were punished by the batsmen. Stokes returned 2-70 before leaving the field late.

- Reuters

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