01/08/2013 16:34 BST

The Ashes: Australia Begins Fightback on day one of third Test

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01: Michael Clarke (L) of Australia shakes hands with Steve Smith as they walk off at the end of play during day one of the 3rd Investec Ashes Test match between England and Australia at Old Trafford Cricket Ground on August 1, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Michael Clarke hit an unbeaten 125 to help Australia end day one of the third Ashes Test on 303-3 at Old Trafford.

Needing a win to keep alive their slender hopes of regaining the urn, the tourists made the most of the chance to bat first on a placid pitch to enjoy their best day of the series so far.

Clarke became the first Australian to reach three figures when he turned a single to the mid-wicket region; by the close he was on 125 having hit 17 boundaries during his maiden Test ton against the old rivals since taking charge of the team.