Michael Clarke & Steve Smith centuries punish India

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Hundreds from Australia captain Michael Clarke and Steven Smith took Australia's first innings past 500, but persistent rain meant fewer than 31 overs were possible on day two of the first Test against India in Adelaide. 

Resuming on 354-6, Clarke's overnight injections enabled him to make a surprise return to the crease, after being forced to retire hurt on 60 on the first day due to back spasms.

He and Smith batted through almost the entirety of the day, forging a partnership of 163 from just 30 overs, before Clarke was dismissed four balls before the close, by spinner Karn Sharma for 128, as Australia finished on 517-7.


In the 12 overs managed before rain brought an early lunch, Smith, and a rather languid Clarke, scored freely in excess of four an over despite regular drizzle. Eventually, with Smith just two away from his century, the rain became too heavy, forcing the players off for what ended up being a two-hour break.

Only a further 11 balls could be bowled on resumption before the rain struck again, but it provided enough time for Smith to notch up his fifth Test hundred before the captain himself was also left stranded on 98.

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After another lengthy interlude, Clarke returned to clip a ball through the legside in trademark fashion, to secure his 28th Test century, and his seventh at the Adelaide Oval, as his average at the ground soared above three figures.

Another shower interrupted play for a third time a few overs later, but the regular disruptions were of little concern to the Australian pairing, as they were rarely threatened by a toothless Indian attack. Upping their run rate to a run a ball for the final 15 overs of the day, they effortlessly moved past the 500 milestone in the 117th over.


A Clarke sweep to Cheteshwar Pujara at square-leg was the only spoiler, just minutes before the umpires called stumps due to deteriorating light. Smith ended the day unbeaten on 162, his highest score in Tests, striking 21 boundaries in the process, and has a chance to make his maiden double-century.

A match played in memory of Phillip Hughes, it's second chapter offered further moments of poignancy and reflection. A Clarke shot which ticked Australia's innings over to 408 - Hughes' Test cap number - signalled applause, while both he and Smith celebrated with respect and dignity upon reaching their tons, warmly supported by the crowd. 

With day two heavily curtailed, play is due to start a full 30 minutes earlier tomorrow in a bid to make up lost time. India's bowlers paid the price today for failing to build pressure in the morning session, negating their late success on day one, and face further blitzkrieg tomorrow, as Australia set off in search of a quick declaration.

The third day's play is scheduled to begin at 10am local time.

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India cricket
Michael Clarke
Australia cricket

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