South Africa’s batsmen dug in for a draw in the first Test against Australia after Michael Clarke followed his record-breaking score with an aggressive declaration yesterday.
Clarke took his overnight score of 218 to 259, the highest-ever Test innings at the Gabba in Brisbane, eclipsing Alastair Cook’s 235 for England in 2010, and then declared with a lead of 115 an hour before lunch.
South Africa suffered a few early wobbles but reached tea on 114 for three and were at 166 for five when stumps were drawn.
With captain Clarke in imperious form as Australia padded their lead in the morning, Mike Hussey added some drama as he scored his 16th Test century.
He was on 99 when South Africa launched a huge appeal for lbw, with Hussey only saved when television replays showed the slightest inside edge. His century was then achieved by a quick single but his dismissal came from the next ball he faced as he hit a shot straight to cover.
Australia declared on 565 for five and the move paid early dividends as Alviro Petersen went for just five. After lunch, Proteas skipper Graeme Smith edged to slip for 23, and Hashim Amla was caught by Hussey off Siddle for 38 just before tea.
Jacques Kallis edged spinner Nathan Lyon to Clarke at slip to go for 49. AB de Villiers and Jacques Rudolph batted on until the latter was out lbw to Lyon.
Clarke said: “It was unfortunate we couldn’t get the result but we can take a lot of confidence into the next match.”
Smith added: “Credit to Michael and the way his team batted, they put us under a little bit of pressure.”