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Rain halts Clarke and Australia

South Africa fought back to claim wickets but by then Australia had almost 500 on the board

Rain halts Clarke and Australia - Cricket News
Michael Clarke was unbeaten on 161 as Australia reached 494 for 7 before rain washed out the remainder of the day's play.
After enduring a Morne Morkel storm on Day 1, only the weather could stop Michael Clarke on the second day of the third Test between Australia and South Africa at Newlands on Sunday (March 2). The Australian captain’s 27th Test hundred was converted into his 10th score of more than 150, as Australia reached 494 for seven before rain wiped out the second half of the day.Description: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/1/images/cleardot.gif
Clarke was unbeaten on 161 when the rain swept in off Table Mountain at 2.17pm. It refused to budge for the remainder of the day, leaving Clarke to ponder an overnight declaration as Australia seeks a path to victory in the series decider. Fortunately for the visitors, the forecast is set fair for the remaining three days.
South Africa will take comfort from the fact that Clarke has scored more than 150 against it on three prior occasions, but none of those innings came in a winning cause. The hosts will need the sort of grit and application that he showed over the first two days if they are to avoid defeat.
South Africa’s cause on the second day was not helped by the continued absence of Dale Steyn, who failed to recover from the hamstring strain he suffered on Saturday. Without him, it was unable to make an early breakthrough despite having use of the second new ball under cloudy skies.
Clarke and Steve Smith allowed themselves time to see that new ball off, as Clarke moved from his overnight 92 to 99 before spending his next 24 deliveries on that figures. He eventually went to three figures with a driven four off Vernon Philander and received as big an applause as an Australian captain could expect to hear from a South African crowd, who clearly appreciated the courage Clarke had shown on day one.
While Clarke had struggled for that 100th run, Smith (84) had shown extraordinary fluency. He drove Philander back over his head for the straightest of sixes, then slashed Morkel over extra cover for another maximum.
Such brilliance made his dismissal almost incomprehensible, as he chopped a wide delivery from self-confessed pie-chucker Dean Elgar back onto the stumps.
That brought Shane Watson to the crease for the first time in the series, and an entertaining knock brought him a few close shaves but ultimately a handy 40 from just 32 balls. It came to an end when he holed out to long-off from the bowling of JP Duminy, who went on to bag the wickets of Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson in the space of two balls to record career-best figures of 4 for 73.
That was at the end of the 127th over. Four balls into the next one, the rain was blown in by a heavy wind. Duminy will start on a hat-trick on Monday should Australia return to the crease.

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