Superman Clarke

Michael Clarke blasted his second double-century in consecutive innings to drive Australia to a mammoth first-day total of 482-5 in the second Test on Thursday as South Africa's pace attack was brought to its knees by injury.

Captain Clarke blasted 39 fours and a six in a sparkling unbeaten 224 in bright sunshine at Adelaide Oval to demoralise the Proteas after they lost paceman Vernon Philander before play started with a back injury and Jacques Kallis with a suspected hamstring injury after lunch.

Dale Steyn, the world's top-ranked Test bowler, took himself off after tea with another suspected hamstring strain, leaving the tourists at the mercy of a withering barrage from Clarke and fellow century makers David Warner and Mike Hussey.

Steyn later returned but the horse had already bolted as Clarke compiled a 155-run stand with opener Warner before adding another 272 runs with Hussey. Clarke and Warner had steadied the innings after the top order collapsed to 55-3, with Kallis striking twice, but the pair hit out after lunch as South Africa captain Graeme Smith rested Steyn and threw spinner Imran Tahir to the wolves.

Clarke and Warner plundered 108 runs in less than an hour after lunch, with the latter lofting a six over bowler Tahir's head and then stroking a sublime cover drive for four on the next bowl to bring up his third test century.

Having had his place in the Test side questioned after an indifferent run of form, an ecstatic Warner bounded down the wicket and punched the air in delight as the fans squeezed into the half of the ground not under renovation roared.

The belligerent 26-year-old was eventually caught behind for 119 off the bowling of paceman Morne Morkel, having blasted 16 fours and four sixes, but Australia were in control at 210-4.

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