Ricky Ponting's first century for two years sees Australia take control against India

 

A career-high double century from skipper Michael Clarke and a drought-breaking ton for Ricky Ponting left Australia in complete control against India at stumps on day two of the second Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

It was a day of total dominance for the hosts who piled on 366 runs for the loss of just one wicket to reach 482 for four, leading by 291 runs with three days still to play.

Clarke (251 not out) and Ponting (134) set the tone with a breathtaking 288-run stand before Michael Hussey (55 not out) joined his captain in an unbeaten century partnership to complete a miserable day for the tourists.

While former skipper Ponting's first Test century in 721 days kept the 30,077 crowd on the edge of their seats, the day belonged to his successor who pummelled a listless Indian attack to all parts of the ground.

The captain smashed 31 boundaries and a six in his unbeaten 438-minute, 342-ball knock to post the highest ever Test score by an Australian at the SCG.

He surpassed Doug Walters' 242 against the West Indies in 1968/69 with a blistering cover drive off Zaheer Kahn to cap a memorable day on his home ground.

Clarke's only false stroke came on 182 when Ishant Sharma dropped a tough chance off his own bowling.

Having reached his 18th Test century with a cracking cover drive for four off Sharma (one for 106) on the first ball of the final over before lunch, Clarke continued to feast on some lacklustre bowling in ideal batting conditions.

The 30-year-old brought up his double ton with a leg-side flick off Umesh Yadav midway through the evening session.

The captain raised his right arm in triumph as he turned for a second run before high-fiving Hussey mid-pitch and saluting the boisterous SCG faithful.

Hussey got in on the act with some lusty late hitting including a straight six off Ravi Ashwin before reaching his half-century.

Earlier, an edgy Ponting survived a near run out to notch up his first century in nearly two years.

Ponting, who was forced to endure a nervous wait after heading to lunch on 97, pushed Sharma to Zaheer at mid-on and took off for a suicidal single.

Zaheer's throw missed by centimetres as a desperate Ponting dived for the crease.

Replays showed a direct hit would have had the former Australian captain out by at least half a metre.

A relieved Ponting, his shirt covered in dirt, got to his feet and raised his arms in triumph.

It was his first ton since making 209 against Pakistan in Hobart on January 14, 2010 and his first at the SCG in six years.

He went 34 innings between centuries, passing 50 on 10 occasions in that time.

The former captain's chanceless innings ended late in the middle session when he steered a delivery from Sharma straight to Sachin Tendulkar.

But it was the only piece of joy on a dark day for the visitors.

PA

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick