Michael Clarke scored a brisk 104* off 121 balls to lead Australia’s charge © Getty Images
Adelaide: Nov 22, 2012
David Warner scored a blitzkrieg 119 off 112 balls and captain Michael Clarke also scored a quickfire century, as Australia scored at upwards of five runs an over to reach Tea at 280 for four against South Africa in the second Test at Adelaide.
After Clarke elected to bat on a pitch that was greener than expected, Warner was in scintillating form amid a clatter of early wickets as South Africa suffered two injuries on the opening day of the second Test in Adelaide on Thursday.
Going into lunch on 67 off just 79 balls, Warner raced to his third Test century with a six and a four off consecutive Imran Tahir deliveries, taking 93 deliveries. The moustache-clad opener bounced back from a disappointing performance in the first drawn Test in Brisbane to lead Australia’s fightback after the home side slumped to 55 for 3 after winning the toss.
Clarke, who walked in after just 13 overs, gave Warner company, himself scoring at a brisk pace. Coming from a scintillating 329 in the first Test, Clarke reached his fifty with back-to-back boundaries and scored at a strike-rate upwards of 90.
After Warner’s dismissal, the Australia captain led the charge and steamed his way to another hundred from 119 balls. It was Clarke’s 21st Test hundred and his fifth at Adelaide—Don Bradman’s own backyard.
Supported ably by Michael Hussey (34 not out), Clarke led Australia in Tea in a commanding position.
Earlier, South Africa’s joy at their early successes was tempered by a hamstring injury that forced all-rounder Jacques Kallis from the field after he had taken 2 for 19.
Star paceman Vernon Philander was also withdrawn from the team with a back problem before the start of play, making way for Rory Kleinveldt.
Australia’s openers negotiated the first nine overs but Kallis, who came on to replace Dale Steyn, struck with his third delivery, dismissing Ed Cowan, caught and bowled for 10.
Rob Quiney, who kept his place when Shane Watson failed to recover from a calf injury, went for an eight-ball duck.
Morne Morkel enticed him to edge to Graeme Smith low down at first slip, leaving the Australians at 44 for 2 and Ricky Ponting’s woes continued when he was bowled third ball for just four, playing inside Kallis.
The former Test skipper was out for a five-ball duck in Brisbane for his third duck in four Test innings against the Proteas and it was little better in Adelaide for Ponting, who stumbled and lost his footing.
Ponting’s failure came despite a prolific record at the Adelaide Oval where he has accumulated 1,727 runs with six hundreds, the most runs by an individual at any Test venue in Australia.
But the Proteas faced a fresh injury setback when Kallis pulled up short while bowling the fourth delivery of his fourth over. Grimacing, he walked off for treatment for what proved to be a right hamstring problem.
Brief Scores: Australia 280 for 4 (David Warner 119, Michael Clarke 104*; Jacques Kallis 2 for 19, Morne Morkel 2 for 81) vs South Africa