Clarke hits double century as Australia take control

Australia captain Michael Clarke salutes the crowd on his way to a record-breaking total of 251.

Story highlights

  • Michael Clarke hits an unbeaten 251 as Australia take control against India
  • The captain's knock is the highest by an Australian at the Sydney Cricket Ground
  • Australia 482-4 at the close of play, 291 runs ahead of the tourists
  • Jacques Kallis hits career-best 224 as South Africa dominate against Sri Lanka
Australia captain Michael Clarke smashed a record-breaking double century on Tuesday as the hosts took control on day two of the second Test against India.
Clarke's unbeaten 251 helped Australia into the commanding position of 482 for four wickets at the close of play in Sydney, a lead of 291 runs over the tourists.
The 30-year-old's knock is the highest by an Australian at the Sydney Cricket Ground and the third highest in the stadium's history, 36 behind Englishman RE Foster's leading score of 287.
It was also a landmark day for Clarke's predecessor as captain Ricky Ponting, with the veteran scoring his first century since January 2010 on his way to a haul of 134.
Ponting, who had gone 34 innings without a Test ton, was eventually caught by Sachin Tendulkar off the right-arm pace bowling of Ishad Sharma.
But even after Ponting and Clarke's 288-run partnership was brought to an end, Australia continued to thrive with Mike Hussey reaching 55 not out by stumps.
It could have been different for India, with Sharma dropping Clarke on 182 and Zaheer Khan narrowly missing the stumps as he tried to run out Ponting on 99.
"One of the things I guess Punter (Ponting) taught me before I got the captaincy was as a leader you need to make sure you're leading from the front and scoring runs," Clarke told Cricket Australia's official website.
"To go out there today and score some runs is very special, I think the team's in a wonderful position at the moment, a 280-odd lead."
Australia hold a 1-0 lead in the four-match series having won the opening Test in Melbourne.
Elsewhere, Jacques Kallis recorded a career-best 224 as South Africa strengthened their position on day two of the third and deciding Test against Sri Lanka in Cape Town.
The hosts declared shortly before tea on 580-4, with Kallis adding 65 to his overnight total before being caught by Angelo Mathews off spin-bowler Rangana Herath.
AB de Villiers was another batsman in fine form, hitting an unbeaten 160 off 205 balls.
Jacques Rudolph smashed his way to 51 not out, with the fifth-wicket partnership between him and De Villiers adding 127 runs in just 20.3 overs.
In response, Sri Lanka made 149-2 before the close of play. Opener Lahiru Thirimanne was the first batsman to fall after being bowled by fast Morne Morkel with 70 runs on the board.
Imran Tahir dismissed Tillakaratne Dilshan for 78 via a catch from Graeme Smith to leave Sri Lanka trailing by 431 ahead of day three.