Michael Clarke carved a splendid double ton to steer Australia to a massive first innings score of 482 at the loss of four wickets at stumps on day two of the second Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Wednesday. Australia lead India by 291 runs.

 

Clarke scored unbeaten 251 off 342 deliveries which included 31 four and one six.

 

He was ably supported by Michael Hussey (55) as the duo stitched am unbeaten partnership of 157 runs for the fifth wickets.

 

Earlier, Ricky Ponting scored his first Test in two years scoring a well crafted 134 that ended a two-year drought since his last Test century.

 

Ponting was finally dismissed for 134, caught by Sachin Tendulkar at point off the new-ball from Ishant Sharma, after a 288-run partnership with Clarke that helped Australia recover from 37 for three. Their valuable stand took Australia to a position of strength to take a 2-0 lead in the four-Test series.

 

The only time Ponting came close to being dismissed during his 225-ball knock, studded with 14 fours, was when he scampered for a single to get his 100th run off Ishant. Zaheer Khan fielded cleanly but his well-directed throw missed the stumps and had it hit Ponting would have been more than a half-metre short of his ground.

 

But the cricketing gods were on Ponting' side and former Australian skipper picked himself up after the dive and with his shirtfront covered in dirt he raised his arms skywards to celebrate one of his most cherished centuries. It was a career-defining innings and will help Ponting retain his position in the Australian team until at least the end of the summer.

 

Australia, resuming at overnight 116 for three, scored 120 runs in the first session and took a lead of 45 runs after the first session's play on the second day.

 

India failed to threaten the Australian batsmen and Clarke brought up his 50 on the first ball he faced this morning, clipping Zaheer off his pads to square leg to bring up his first half century of the series.