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Clarke’s 259 Gives Australia Initiative on Final Day of Test

Michael Clarke scored a record 259 not out before declaring as Australia tried to take the initiative on the final day of the opening cricket Test against South Africa in Brisbane.

Clarke, who resumed at 218, had made the highest score in all Test matches at the Gabba when he called a halt to the innings an hour before the lunch break with Australia at 565-5, a lead of 115 runs. South Africa lost the wicket of opener Alviro Petersen before reaching 31-1 in its second innings at the interval.

With two sessions of play remaining, the touring team trails by 84 runs as it tries to avoid going 1-0 down in a three-match series that will decide the No. 1 Test ranking. A draw in Brisbane is the favored result, according to bookmakers.

Clarke’s score surpassed the previous Gabba Test record of 235 not out by England’s Alastair Cook two years ago. Mike Hussey earlier became the third Australian batsman to hit a century after opener Ed Cowan made his first Test hundred yesterday. Matthew Wade finished 19 not out.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Baynes at dbaynes@bloomberg.net

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