Sydney: Michael Clarke's fighting century and useful contributions from the lower order at the Sydney Cricket Ground ensured Australia lived to fight another day as the hosts reached 445 before being bowled out on day two.
The home side took advantage of perfect weather conditions to move to 368 for six with Clarke unbeaten on 135 and Mitchell Johnson on a career-best 54.
The pair have put on 131 for the seventh wicket after beginning their partnership late on the first day.
Clarke started the second day on 77 and showed his intent from the opening ball, cracking Makhaya Ntini through the covers for four.
He brought up his 10th Test century with a quick single before sprinting towards the members' stand with arms raised in triumph, seemingly oblivious that there was a third umpire's decision pending.
Clarke, who was dropped on 12 and 69, survived the close call and went to lunch in touching distance of his highest Test score of 151.
His purposeful knock - a mix of exquisite drives, intelligent running and rigid defence -contained 17 fours in a 356-minute stint at the crease.
Johnson, who was put down by Jacques Kallis on 18, clubbed 10 boundaries en route to his best score at Test level.
Clarke and Brad Haddin (38) put on 75 for the sixth wicket late on day one to ensure their team would go to stumps in reasonable shape after being a shaky 109 for three earlier.