Adelaide: The Australian skipper Michael Clarke became the first man in 135 years test history to score four double centuries in a calendar year during the first day of the second test in Adelaide as Proteas’ pace attack was brought to its knees by injury on Thursday.
When Clarke arrived at the crease South Africa were well in the game having struck early to leave the home side on 55 for three.
But while there were failures for Ed Cowan, Rob Quiney and Ricky Ponting, Warner and Clarke led the fight back superbly.
At tea Australia were 280 for four with Clarke unconquered on 104 and Mike Hussey not out 34. The home side added a blistering 178 runs off just 26 overs in the middle session.
The start of the afternoon session was the start of the carnage, Warner taking 10 off the loose Imran Tahir in the first over and then reaching his 100 in 93 balls after another Tahir over leaked 17.
Both batsmen added a remarkable 99 runs in the first 10 overs after the resumption.
Clarke was unconquered on 224 from 243 deliveries, with a six and 39 fours. Warner eventually fell, edging Morkel to Smith to halt the partnership at 155, but Hussey wasted no time finding his stride.
Australia ended the opening day on 482 for five with opener David Warner (119) and Michael Hussey (103) also compiling impressive centuries.
Dale Steyn, the world’s top-ranked Test bowler, took himself off after tea with another suspected hamstring strain
Gary Kirsten said it was one of his toughest days as South Africa coach.
“We went through periods where we bowled quite nicely, but the periods where we didn’t bowl nicely we got a beating,” he said. “We’re certainly not going to come here tomorrow thinking we’re losing, that’s for sure.