Australia v England, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 4th day December 6, 2010

Clarke apologises and feels 'distraught'

Michael Clarke has said sorry for not walking during a dramatic last-over dismissal that swung the second Test further towards England. Clarke was 80 when he glanced Kevin Pietersen's part-time offspin to Alastair Cook at short leg, leaving Australia 137 runs from forcing the tourists to bat again.

Clarke took a series of steps towards the dressing room before stopping when he realised the umpire Tony Hill wasn't going to raise his finger. England immediately referred the decision and the first replay showed Clarke was out.

"Just want to apologise for not walking off the ground tonight when I hit the ball," Clarke tweeted. "I was just so disappointed, my emotions got the best of me."

Michael Hussey, who was at the other end, saw the nick and his first instinct was to turn to Hill. "I just remember looking back at the umpire and yelling no, no, no," he said. "So I didn't know what was going on down [Clarke's] end. By the time I turned around they pretty much referred it straight away and I could tell in Michael's body language that he thought he was out."

He said Clarke was "pretty distraught" and had not spoken in the dressing room. "It was a real sombre way for us to finish the day because we fought pretty hard and it would have been nice to go in three-down," Hussey said. "It would have really capped off a great day because he played awesome cricket today. He played like the Michael Clarke we love and have loved watching play over the last few years."

Clarke combined for a 104-run stand with Hussey that gave Australia a chance of saving the game, and they were 4 for 238 at stumps. Now that task has been passed on to Hussey and Marcus North, who is once again under pressure to hold his spot.

"If we can draw the match, England will see it as a loss so that's got to drive us on," Hussey said. "We've certainly been outplayed, no question, but if we can get away with 0-0 it will be a great result for us. We've got a bit of hard work to do, with maybe a bit of luck and hopefully some weather to help us along the way."

North has scored 1 and 26 in this series and despite registering a century in Bangalore three matches ago, his hold on his place is loose. "He'll definitely score runs," Hussey said. "He's a champion player, a champion guy to have around the team, and we want him around the team. We're behind him all the way."

However, Hussey has the main job of navigating through the crisis after reaching 44 not out. "I'd be lying if I said I loved it, but it's certainly rewarding to come into a pressure situation and get your team into a position to win the match or save the match," he said. "It gives you a lot of satisfaction. I wish I could come out like Bradman and smash them everywhere, but unfortunately the game doesn't work that way."

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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