MANCHESTER, England, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Australia continued to build a big score by reaching 392 for five at lunch on the second day of the third Ashes test on Friday with Michael Clarke bringing up his 150 but pantomime villain David Warner going cheaply.
Captain Clarke is leading from the front with his under pressure side 2-0 down in the five-match series and he moved on to his highest test score against England of 168 not out, smashing Tim Bresnan for three straight fours as he topped 150.
Warner punched England’s Joe Root in a Birmingham bar during June’s Champions Trophy, leading to a ban from the Australia side, but the aggressive left-hander was drafted back in for this test with the batsmen previously struggling.
He was widely booed and taunted from the packed stands at Old Trafford as he walked to the crease after Steve Smith had given away his wicket for 89 when he skied a top-edged sweep to Jonny Bairstow in spinner Graeme Swann’s first over of the day.
Warner was initially watchful but got a thick edge on five off Swann, the ball hitting wicketkeeper Matt Prior’s knee and bouncing up for slip Jonathan Trott to take the catch.
Warner conferred with Clarke and decided to review, but replays showed a clear nick and there was nothing wrong with the catch.
The jubilant crowd waved Warner back to the dressing room with glee, leaving Brad Haddin to come to the crease and steady Australia with an unbeaten 18, although his inside edge was dropped by Prior off the otherwise misfiring James Anderson.
Warner’s review came after major controversy on Thursday when Usman Khawaja was given out by the on-field and third umpires despite not appearing to edge Swann behind. Cricket Australia asked the ICC for clarification over the “incorrect” call.
Rain hit famously wet Manchester before play but the sun came out just in time to greet the players. Showers are possible later and on Saturday, however, with the damp bowlers’ footholes already causing problems. (Editing by Ed Osmond)