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Last Updated: Friday, 22 July 2005, 18:02 GMT 19:02 UK
'Positive' Clarke returns to form
Damien Martyn and Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke refused to let poor recent form inhibit his natural game as he set about putting Australia in the box seat on day two against England.

His 91 at Lord's helped the Aussies establish a 314-run lead on 279-7.

"I didn't score many runs in the first innings so I was just trying to be as positive as I could be.

"Fortunately it came off and although it was disappointing to reach 91 and get out it's not every day you make 91 at Lord's," Clarke, 24, said.

"I was a little bit impatient and a little bit frustrated but that's the way it goes.

"I set out to be as positive as possible and I played that way the whole way through."

I think we'll make some more runs because we've still got some batters to come
Michael Clarke

Clarke had scored just 139 runs in his previous nine Test innings and was under a cloud for much of the one-day leg of Australia's Ashes tour.

He was dropped on 21 by Kevin Pietersen at Lord's but otherwise his knock, which came off just 106 balls and included 15 boundaries, signalled a real return to form on an awkward pitch.

"They've got a very good attack," Clarke said of England.

"[Steve] Harmison and [Andrew] Flintoff were probably the toughest to face.

"They were hitting that back-of-a-length area which was a little bit inconsistent. They were the pick of the bowlers.

"Unfortunately when it hits those sorts of areas you can't do much about it.

"The wicket was a bit up and down but I just had to play my natural game and hope I didn't get one of those deliveries."

Clarke will hope his 145-run stand with Damien Martyn (65) can put the first Test out of England's reach, but he predicts more runs from Australia on day three anyway.

"Damien's great to bat with and played fantastic," he commented.

"He's very supportive and told me to keep backing myself and play my way. It was great to have him at the other end.

"I think we'll make some more runs because we've still got some batters to come.

"Hopefully we can get to 350 and if our bowlers do the same job they did in the first innings that will certainly be enough."




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