Saturday 3 December 2011 

Clarke Guides Australia Into Dominant Position

Clarke Guides Australia Into Dominant Position
Clarke Guides Australia Into Dominant Position
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

New Zealand 295 (Vettori 96) & 10-1 v
Australia 427 (Clarke 139, Haddin 80)
First Test, Brisbane, day three
| | Day Two

Australia further imposed themselves on the opening Test against New Zealand as a Michael Clarke century handed them a substantial first-innings lead.

After hitting 427 in reply to New Zealand's 295, they reduced the tourists to 10 for one in their second innings to close the day 132 runs ahead.

Clarke made 132 to register his first century on home soil since taking over the Test captaincy while Brad Haddin made 80 and New Zealand were frustrated by Australia's lower order.

Debutants James Pattinson (12) and Mitchell Starc (32 not out) supported Haddin, who fell 20 short of a century when he was caught by Chris Martin off Martin Guptill, although New Zealand did not help themselves with a poor display in the field.

Clarke faced 249 balls for his innings, hitting 19 fours and one six as he kicked on to succeed where Ricky Ponting, dismissed for 78 when he was trapped in front by Martin, had failed.

Michael Hussey fell for 15 but Clarke and Haddin added 108 for the sixth wicket to put Australia into the lead and although New Zealand were able to remove Peter Siddle for nought and Nathan Lyon for five, they were forced to concede a 142-run deficit.

It got worse for them when Brendon McCullum was caught by Ponting off Pattinson for one to ensure this was emphatically Australia's day.

Guptill was unbeaten seven alongside nightwatchman Doug Bracewell who had yet to score.

New Zealand's first innings of 295 included backs-to-the-wall half-centuries from Daniel Vettori (96) and Dean Brownlie (77 not out) and a similar effort is required from them if they aren't to slump to defeat.

© Cricket World 2011