Australia in SA

Clarke: It was a special ton

2011-11-09 22:30
Michael Clarke (File)

Cape Town - Australian captain Michael Clarke said helping his team when they were under pressure was the best part of his century on the opening day of the first Test against South Africa on Wednesday.

Video highlights: SA v Australia on Day 1

In cool and breezy conditions at Newlands in which South Africa pace bowlers Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander shared seven wickets, Clarke scored a masterful 107 not out to lift Australia to 214 for eight.

"It was a very special hundred, mainly because we were under pressure when I had to go out there. It's always nice to step up when it's tough out there, it's great to contribute and score runs as captain when your team is under pressure," Clarke told a news conference.

"Dale Steyn is a very good bowler and today he was quite fast and the ball swung for him. He was pretty fired up, so I had to dig in. Philander is also a good bowler, he has good control and he bowled a good length today, which made it hard to score. He also has a nice seam position and gets a bit of movement."

Steyn gave Clarke a torrid time when he came to the crease straight after lunch on 40 for three, but the Australian captain said he enjoyed the roughing up and would not have any sleepless nights over it.

"I started horribly, I felt I couldn't get my head out of the way and Steyn was getting closer and closer. But I love that challenge and I decided to just let my bat do the talking," Clarke said.

The 30-year-old admitted lady luck had smiled on him too, but said that was possibly a reward for his positive attitude as his runs came off just 114 balls, including 17 fours.

"I needed a bit of luck, but I wanted to show good intent because on pitches like that, there are no guarantees," he said. "That's why you work so hard on your technique, so you can go back to your basics and just have the confidence to play your own game.

"I needed to be positive, to play my way and I'd rather get out playing shots than get out by being timid," Clarke said.

Steyn said the South Africans were satisfied with their day's work, particularly after Clarke and Shaun Marsh (44) had taken Australia to 143 for three.

"The run rate was a little more than we wanted but we managed to drag it back and to finish with eight wickets, we would have taken that any day," Steyn, who took four for 31, said.

"It's a special place to play here and it's cool to bowl here, especially when conditions suit us and the ball is swinging around. If I'm brutally honest, my intensity wasn't there as much in the one-dayers. I was always looking for it but against Australia you always have to hit your straps hard."

Read more on:    australia in sa  |  michael clarke


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Most Read


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Win over Boks was 'massive' for Japanese rugby
Girls be hating the fat boys
VIDEO: Six of the best dummy passes from the RWC
Boks can brace for Wales - bookies
11 October 2015
India v South Africa, Kanpur 05:30
14 October 2015
India v South Africa, Indore 10:00
18 October 2015
India v South Africa, Rajkot 10:00
Previous Results

Date Match Result

Graeme Smith's shock decision to retire is...

/World Cup
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


Take a photographical trip down memory lane and remind yourself of how the Springboks fared in their five previous Rugby World Cup campaigns. In addition, pick your all-time Springbok Rugby World Cup Dream Team and you could win R3 000!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.