Australia In Control As Clarke Hits Unbeaten 251

Australia In Control As Clarke Hits Unbeaten 251
Australia In Control As Clarke Hits Unbeaten 251
©REUTERS / Action Images

Australia 482-4 (Clarke 251no, Ponting 134) v
India 191 (Dhoni 57no, Pattinson 4-43)
Second Test, Sydney, day two

Captain Michael Clarke scored a career-best 251 not out and his predecessor Ricky Ponting added 134 as Australia surged into a 291-run lead over India on day two of the second Test  in Sydney.

The pair put on 288 for the fourth wicket as Australia closed the day on 482 for four in reply to India's 191 all out.

Clarke blasted his way past a previous career-best of 168 and his previous first-class effort of 201 by hitting 31 fours and one six in 342 balls, batting throughout the second day's play - most of it alongside Ponting.

The embattled former skipper delivered a fine riposte to his critics with his 40th Test century, facing 225 deliveries and hitting 14 boundaries. He had not scored a century in 34 innings - a run stretching back almost two years but he ended his drought in style.

Ponting was dismissed when he was caught by Sachin Tendulkar off Ishant Sharma but to add further salt to India's wounds, Michael Hussey then stroked a fluent unbeaten 55 in 97 balls as he and Clarke put on an unbroken stand of 157 for the fifth wicket.

Clarke started the day on 47 not out and should he be able to produce a similar display on day three, with Australia already so far ahead so quickly in the game, he is poised to make an assault on several batting records.

He has already scored more runs than India managed as a team when they were dismissed meekly on the opening day, again failing to deal with Australia's quicks, for whom James Pattinson with four wickets along with Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus (three apiece) were outstanding.

Only beleaguered captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, with 57 not out, and Tendulkar, with 41, offered much resistance.

Australia lead the four-match series 1-0 following a 122-run win in the opening game in Melbourne.

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