Sport

Clarke first player to score four double centuries in Tests

Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke Chris Hyde / Getty Images

EVEN Don Bradman couldn't do that.

The greatest batsman of all time scored 12 double centuries during his extraordinary career, but he was unable to achieve what Australian captain Michael Clarke managed to do at the Adelaide Oval yesterday.

Following his unbeaten 259 in the first innings of the first Test at the Gabba, Clarke finished the first day in Adelaide on 224 not out, making him the first player to score four double centuries in Tests in a single calendar year.

The innings, which came off just 243 balls and included 39 fours and a six, helped Australia finish on a massive 5/482, the most runs on day one of a Test match since 1910.

As well as Clarke's history-making innings, veteran Mike Hussey backed up his century in Brisbane with another 103, and opener David Warner smashed 119 off 112 balls to leave the Proteas shellshocked.

In the lead-up to the match, South African fast bowler Morne Morkel said his team planned to combat the Aussie skipper by serving him up plenty of short-pitched bowling.

When asked what he thought of that idea, Clarke said bowlers were allowed two bouncers each over, which left "four balls for me to score off".

The Proteas found out yesterday that he meant that literally.In fact in one over from Dale Steyn, ranked the No.1 bowler in the world, Clarke plundered five boundaries.

It wasn't all good news for the Australian batsmen, however.

Playing just his second Test innings, rookie Victorian Rob Quiney failed again, caught in the slips without scoring.

And the career of former captain Ricky Ponting is on even shakier ground after he added just four to his duck from Brisbane.

While it was a glorious day for Australia, nothing went right for the South Africans, the problems starting well before they arrived at the Adelaide Oval.

Fast bowler Vernon Philander woke up with a sore back and was ruled out, replaced by Rory Kleinveldt who had dropped after the Brisbane Test.

Then brilliant all-rounder Jacques Kallis, who captured the wickets of Ed Cowan for 10 and Ponting in his first 21 balls, was forced from the ground with a hamstring injury and failed to return.

Scans will determine whether Kallis can play any further part in the match.

To compound their problems, Steyne also spent time off the ground after tweaking his hamstring, although he returned later in the day to capture the wicket of Hussey.

With the pace attack in tatters, leg spinner Imran Tahir was called on to bowl 21 overs and was smashed to all corners of the oval.

Tahir regularly bowled too short and finished with the figures of 0-159.

Topics:  cricket, michael clarke, south africa cricket


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