Clarke makes history as Australia run riot
Michael Clarke became the first batsman to score four Test double-hundreds in a calendar year as Australia piled on the runs against an injury-hit South Africa at the Adelaide Oval.
Home skipper Clarke, who struck 259 not out in last week’s drawn series opener, finished day one of the second Test unbeaten on 224 in a staggering total of 482 for five.
His latest substantial innings has so far brought 39 fours - including five in an over from Morne Morkel - and one six. In five home Tests in 2012, Clarke has scored 1,077 runs and been dismissed on just three occasions.
David Warner and Michael Hussey also reached three figures for Australia, the former at quicker than a run a ball, and the Proteas’ misery was compounded by injuries to Vernon Philander, Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn.
The latter was able to continue after leaving the field with hamstring soreness, but Philander dropped out on the morning of the game with a stiff back, to be replaced by Rory Kleinveldt, and Kallis sent down just 20 deliveries before pulling up lame.
The all-rounder was later diagnosed with a grade one hamstring strain that will prevent him from bowling in the remainder of the match.
Kallis was able to oust Ed Cowan and Ricky Ponting prior to his injury as Australia slipped to 55 for three upon winning the toss.
However, Warner and Clarke then took centre stage before Hussey, who fell to Steyn in the final over before stumps, helped his captain add 202 runs in the evening session.
While all of South Africa’s bowlers suffered, recalled leg-spinner Imran Tahir bore the brunt of the punishment, giving up 157 runs in 21 wicketless overs.
Things had looked so much brighter for the tourists when they struck in three successive overs this morning.
Kallis had Cowan caught and bowled as a yorker ricocheted back to the seamer off the left-hander’s toe and bat.
Rob Quiney then fell without scoring when he edged Morkel to slip and Ricky Ponting again failed to fire, bowled for four by a beauty from Kallis that initially shaped in before swinging away.
The flurry of wickets did not pacify Warner, who promptly top-edged Morkel over fine-leg for one of his four maximums.
South Africa soon found themselves in deep trouble as the first nine overs after lunch yielded 93 runs.
Warner, powerful on the front foot and strong square of the wicket, moved to three figures by driving Tahir for six and four, but he was eventually caught at slip off Morkel for a 112-ball 119.
There was to be no let-up thereafter as Hussey moved to a century of his own in the company of the majestic Clarke, who continued to treat the bowling with disdain.
Hussey successfully overturned a caught behind decision that had initially gone against him on 64 and had moved on to 103 by the time Steyn finally broke through his defences.
Clarke simply would not be shifted.