Ashes 2013: England Struggle as Clarke and Haddin’s Centuries Put Australia in Command

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By Naveen Ullal | December 6, 2013 7:12 PM EST

England struggled on day two of the seocnd Ashes Test after Australia posted a huge first innings total of 570 for the loss of nine wickets. In reply, the visitors lost Alastair Cook early in the innings and are on 35/1 at the end of the day's play.

Australian skipper Michael Clarke, along with wicket-keeping batsman Brad Haddin, walked into the crease with an overnight score of 273-5. England were hoping to pick up quick wickets early in the innings as the visitors were looking to restrict their opponents under 400.

However, things were not going as planned for England as Clarke scored his second century of the Ashes series. The right handed batsman, along with Haddin, took the game away from their opponents as the two put on a 200-run partnership for the sixth wicket.

England were successful in stopping Clarke from reaching 150 as the Australian skipper was dismissed by Ben Stokes, who got his first Test victim. James Anderson took a brilliant catch diving forward, which brought an end to a magnificent innings by Clarke.

After the skipper's fall, Haddin took things into his own hands as he reached his third Test hundred. The wicket-keeping batsman was well accompanied by Ryan Harris down the order. The pacer was unbeaten till the end after scoring a quick knock of 55 from 54 deliveries.

Australia reached 500 from Harris' first six of the game as the tail ender, along with Haddin, was giving a tough time for the English bowlers. The latter was sent back to the pavilion by Stuart Broad after the centurion gave a simple catch to Matt Prior behind the stumps.

Haddin's dismissal saw Nathan Lyon walk into the crease as he contributed 17 runs at the end and holding his wicket with Harris. The duo remained unbeaten as Australia declared for 570 and made England bat in the final session of the day.

The hosts had an early breakthrough as England skipper Alastair Cook got out cheaply for the second time in the series as the opener was bowled out by Mitchell Johnson after he added just three runs to the overall tally.

Michael Carberry (20) and Joe Root (9) are unbeaten after the end of the day's play. England's top order should fire on day three in order to avoid follow-on and another defeat in the series.

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