Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Clarke scored his 25th century to leave England in complete disarray
Australia captain Michael Clarke and flamboyant opening batsman David Warner both scored breathtaking centuries to leave England in absolute tatters at the end of the third day of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane.
Clarke and Warner were well supported by vice-captain Brad Haddin, who smashed a quickfire half-century.
Starting out the day on 65/0, Australia’s opening pair of Chris Rogers and Warner only managed to add two runs onto their 65-run partnership before Rogers sliced a rank long hop from Stuart Broad straight to Michael Carberry at point.
Shane Watson failed to make a major contribution with the bat as he top-edged a short ball from Chris Tremlett, which ended up falling safely in the hands of Broad.
Just after Warner brought up his half-century, the heavens parted and the players left the field.
After a brief delay, Australia resumed their innings.
Warner and Clarke made up for the loss of Rogers and Watson with a magnificent 158-run partnership, during which Warner brought up his fourth Test century and Clarke his half-century, before Warner was caught behind off the bowling of Broad for 124.
Warner’s blistering knock of 124 came off 154 balls and included 13 boundaries and a six.
Steve Smith failed to trouble the scorers as he was caught behind off the bowling of Tremlett.
Clarke and George Bailey put together a 52-run partnership, during which Clarke registered his 25th Test century, before being clean bowled by off-spinner Graeme Swann.
Clarke’s fantastic innings of 113 came off 130 deliveries and included nine boundaries and a six.
Clarke also reached yet another landmark during his innings as he went past 1,000 runs at the Gabba in Brisbane at an incredible average of 111.11.
Despite being dropped by Ian Bell on 17, Bailey could only double his score before being cleaned up by Swann.
Haddin and left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Johnson kept the runs flowing with a spectacular 90-run partnership, during which Haddin brought up his second consecutive half-century, before being caught at mid-off to become Tremlett’s third victim of the day.
Haddin’s brilliant knock of 53 came off 55 balls and included five boundaries.
Johnson remained undefeated on 39 off 45 deliveries, which included four boundaries and a six, as Clarke decided to declare on 401/7, leaving England a target of 561 runs to win.
Tremlett was the pick of the England bowlers with three wickets, while Broad and Swann chipped in with two wickets apiece.
Chasing a mammoth total of 561 to win, England got off to the worst possible start as Carberry was cleaned bowled by Ryan Harris for a duck.
Just a few overs later, Jonathan Trott pulled a delivery from Johnson straight to Nathan Lyon at deep square leg to be dismissed for nine runs.
England finished the day on 24/2 with skipper Alastair Cook remaining unbeaten on 11 and Kevin Pietersen on three.
Harris and Johnson picked up one wicket apiece.
England will resume batting tomorrow at 10:00 local time or 00:00 GMT.