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Page last updated at 22:03 GMT, Saturday, 31 May 2008 23:03 UK

Clarke ton puts Australia on top

Second Test, Antigua (day two, close):
Australia 479-7 declared v West Indies 125-3

Michael Clarke
Clarke celebrates after reaching his seventh Test hundred

Michael Clarke's seventh Test century helped Australia take control of the second Test against the West Indies.

Clarke showed poise to make 110 as Australia built a formidable first-innings total of 479-7 declared.

Simon Katich failed to add a run to his overnight 113, but Clarke's knock, as well as some belligerent hitting from Brett Lee (63no) ensured a big total.

The Windies' reply began well with Xavier Marshall making 53, but Clarke took two wickets as they reached 125-3.

Clarke, who missed the first Test in order to stay in Australia following the death of the father of his fiancee, Lara Bingle, batted with style from the moment he arrived at the crease on day one.

The Australia vice-captain rallied the lower-order before he was caught at forward square leg off Powell, when he miscued a hook at a short, rising delivery.

When he went, Lee and Mitchell Johnson (29no) blitzed the home team with an unbroken eighth-wicket partnership of 65.

Both rode their luck as Lee was dropped by Fidel Edwards on 28 and Johnson enjoyed similar fortune when Dwayne Bravo put him down on 15.

But in truth the West Indies were sloppy in the field.

The tourists could have been pegged back further had Clarke not been given a let off on 63 when wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin dropped him down the leg-side.

The Windies made a solid start in reply and Marshall in particular impressed they accrued early runs at a fair pace.

But he was lbw to Clarke for 53, Runako Morton soon followed, getting a thick edge playing a wild shot off Clarke to Katich and the home team found themselves on the back foot.

Australia lead the three-Test series 1-0, after they completed a 95-run victory in the opening Test last Monday at Sabina Park in Jamaica.

Australia's Michael Clarke: "I'm so excited to score another Test hundred - my first one in the Caribbean and my first one as vice-captain for Australia - and to have 470 runs on the board in the first innings.

"I know all of my family and all of Lara's family wanted me to come over here and play and be a part of playing my first Test tour in the West Indies.

"It's hard being away from Lara and her family but today was obviously very special to make a century knowing that my to-be father-in-law would certainly have been proud of me."

West Indies captain Chris Gayle, who is not playing in the Test because of injury, on Xavier Marshall: "He has had difficulties throughout his career - he was out of first-class cricket for a year and now you can see the determination and the hunger.

"He has had issues which the [West Indies Cricket] board has dealt with. It's good to see him back and in a different and better frame of mind and now he needs to continue and keep his focus.

"I am happy with the progress he is making. He is the sort of guy who plays cricket with a passion, you can see that in the way he throws himself around in the outfield."

see also
Hayden to sit out Windies series
29 May 08 |  Australia
Clark haul earns Ponting praise
26 May 08 |  Australia
Clark guides Australia to victory
26 May 08 |  Australia
Injured Gayle to miss first Test
17 May 08 |  West Indies
Clarke to miss first Windies Test
16 May 08 |  Australia
Australia in West Indies 2008
02 Jan 08 |  Cricket

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