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Clarke puts Aussies on top

Clarke puts Aussies on top
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Australia captain Michael Clarke made 187, his highest Test score against England, as the tourists maintained their grip on the third Ashes match at...

Australia captain Michael Clarke made 187, his highest Test score against England, as the tourists maintained their grip on the third Ashes match at Manchester's Old Trafford ground on Friday. At tea on the second day, Australia, who won the toss, were 507 for seven in a match they had to win to stand any chance of regaining the Ashes after falling 2-0 behind in the five-match series.

Brad Haddin, dropped on 10, was 57 not out and Mitchell Starc 54 not out as Australia continued to pile on the runs even after Clarke was out. Australia came into this match on the back of six straight Test defeats -- their worst run of results since 1984.

Clarke, rather like Allan Border at the start of the Australia great's captaincy career in the mid-1980s, has spent much of his time in charge knowing that if he doesn't make a major score, few of his top-order colleagues are likely to do just that.


Yet this was his 10th century in 27 Tests as captain, with his average as skipper of 65.15 well above his career mark of 52.52. England's attack was led by Graeme Swann, the off-spinner's figures of five for 149 in 41 overs representing the 17th time in 55 Tests he'd taken five or more wickets in an innings.

Meanwhile, paceman Stuart Broad took his 200th Test wicket as England finally saw the back of Clarke. But perhaps the most remarkable figures of all belonged to England spearhead James Anderson, still wicketless on his Lancashire home ground, with a return of nought for 116 in 33 overs.

Australia resumed on yet another sunny day well-placed on 303 for three with Clarke 125 not out, after scoring the tourists' first century of the series, and Steven Smith 70 not out.

Brief Scores: At Tea: Australia 507 for seven (C Rogers 84, M Clarke 187, S Smith 89, B Haddin 57no, M Starc54no, Swann 5/149)

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