Ashes 2013-14: David Warner and Michael Clarke put England to the sword on day three in Brisbane
Day three in Brisbane was the tale of two Australian centurions; David Warner and Michael Clarke.
By Rob Lancaster
Last Updated: 23/11/13 11:09am
Australia were always in command at the start of Saturday's play, but the fact that two of their top four made big scores - and they put miles into England's seamers with four games to go - could be crucial in the long term.
Resuming on 45, Warner watched on as Chris Rogers and Shane Watson fell cheaply before a brief rain delay, all the time looking in complete control on the limited occasions he got to see any of the strike.
Unlike the first innings when he gave it away on 49, slapping a Stuart Broad short ball straight to cover, the New South Welshman seized the opportunity to go on and post his maiden Test ton against the old enemy.
His plans to Graeme Swann were particularly impressive considering the problems left-handers normally have facing the off-spinner. Often looking to hit from in-to-out to the off side, he also used his feet and cashed in on anything that was drifting onto his pads, yet without sweeping at all.
There was understandably the odd nervous moment in the 90s, including a rather streaky four that took him to the brink of three figures.
In the end three runs off the part-time spin of Joe Root, the very man Warner took a swing at in a Birmingham bar before the previous series on English soil, resulting in him being briefly suspended and then sent to South Africa just to get a go with the bat, saw the New South Welshman to his milestone.
Warner celebrated in style by leaping into the air. He looked set to plunder plenty more, showing his intent by launching Broad straight back over his head for a glorious maximum.
In the end his knock came to a rather tame finish, the same bowler getting him caught behind after a rather lazy-looking waft outside off stump. That the batsman turned away in frustration and shook his head as he walked off to a standing ovation showed he is about more than briefly bullying bowlers and bashing deliveries to, or over, the boundary rope.
His departure ended a third-wicket stand of 158 with Clarke, who went on himself to complete an excellent century from just 115 deliveries.
Bounced out by Broad in the first innings, the Australian skipper decided not to risk his glass back by ducking second time around. Instead, he took on the short stuff that was always going to come his way, pulling the man who dismissed him on day one twice to the boundary rope in quick succession.
The aggression continued throughout his knock, he too tucking into Swann. There was one over when the slow bowler went for 16, delighting scorers everywhere as it included a 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6.
Eventually Swann had his revenge by claiming his 249th Test scalp (his 250th would come later when he bowled George Bailey), though not before Clarke had posted his 25th Test hundred and his sixth against England.
The Gabba has been good to him and Australia in the past, and with his bowlers striking late on the hosts look set to finally end their barren recent run of results in the longest form of the game.