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Fiji Time: 5:33 PM on Thursday 24 April

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Hosts in command

Saturday, December 07, 2013

ADELAIDE - Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin hit centuries yesterday as England's poor fielding continued to haunt them on day two of the second Ashes Test.

Australia reached 8-516 at tea at Adelaide Oval after Clarke (148) and Haddin (108 not out) shared a record partnership of 200.

Clarke's sheer class dovetailed neatly with Haddin's commitment to the cause as the 36-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman played the perfect supporting role.

Resuming on 5-273, Clarke and Haddin added 116 in the first session.

Clarke's dismissal, caught at midwicket to debutant Ben Stokes, was a shock when it finally did come, after the skipper had struck 17 fours and faced 245 deliveries.

Troubled by a sore ankle earlier this week, the 99-Test veteran racked up his 26th hundred and fourth for 2013 including three in his past five Tests against England.

Clarke has scored 12 hundreds in 31 matches as captain at an average of 64.42 in a remarkable performance, although he trails Don Bradman's average of 101.52 among Aussie skippers with a minimum of 20 Tests.

Dropped at midwicket on 18 and at short leg on 91, Clarke showed the dangers of giving Test cricket's leading run-scorer for 2013 a couple of chances.

Haddin's 200-run stand with Clarke is a record for the sixth wicket in Adelaide Tests, beating the 191 set by Pakistan's Imran Khan and Wasim Akram in 1989-90.

Mitchell Johnson came and went for five before Haddin pulled Stokes (2-70) to the boundary for his fourth century off 157 balls, waving his bat towards the dressing rooms in celebration.

While Clarke has equalled Ricky Ponting's mark of six Adelaide Test tons, his vice-captain Haddin has scored his second century in five matches at the ground.

Stokes also removed Peter Siddle but fellow tailender Ryan Harris ensured Australia reached the 500-mark with two successive sixes off the bowling of Graeme Swann (2-133).

Paceman Stuart Broad (2-89) also has two wickets.

Harris has blasted 29 not out off 27 balls while Haddin has also shown a liking for the lofted shot with 11 fours and four sixes off 170 deliveries.

The demoralised England side had coughed up three catches on day one, including Haddin on five.

Clarke was dropped again on 91 on Friday while Haddin on 51 was caught behind off the bowling of Stokes who had overstepped the crease.

A fired-up Haddin exchanged words with 22-year-old Stokes, son of former Kiwi rugby league international Ged Stokes. Umpire Marais Erasmus and Clarke were among those who stepped in to ease tensions.