CAPE TOWN, (Reuters) – David Warner thumped a run-a-ball century as Australia dominated the opening day of the third and final test against South Africa, piling up 331 for three at Newlands yesterday.
The wicket was flat and the tourists took full advantage after winning the toss and electing to bat.
Warner’s 135 punished a wilting South Africa attack that lost Dale Steyn after lunch when the world’s top test bowler limped off complaining of pain in his right hamstring.
He will be assessed today to see if he can continue bowling in the innings.
Captain Michael Clarke (92 not out) and Steve Smith (50 not out) put on 114 for the fourth wicket and will resume on the second morning as they seek to bat the home team out of the match.
Warner, who raised the ire of South Africans after the second test in Port Elizabeth by suggesting they had tampered with the ball, smashed 12 fours and a six in his 152-ball stay at the crease.
He recorded his seventh ton before falling to a catch behind by wicketkeeper AB de Villiers off spinner JP Duminy.
Paceman Steyn had picked up the first wicket, having opener Chris Rogers (25) caught at second slip by skipper Graeme Smith.
Alex Doolan then made a patient 20 off 66 deliveries before losing his cool as he tried to pull Vernon Philander, spooning a catch to Steyn at mid-on.
Only Morne Morkel with his steep bounce troubled the Australian batsmen, especially Clarke.
Morkel hit him on the elbow, gloves and the back of the helmet during a spell of ferocious fast bowling.
Australia won the toss
Australia first innings
C. Rogers c Smith b Steyn 25
D. Warner c De Villiers b Duminy 135
A. Doolan c Steyn b Philander 20
M. Clarke not out 92
S. Smith not out 50
Extras (w-5, nb-4) 9
Total (for three wickets, 88 overs) 331
Fall of wickets: 1-65 2-138 3-217
To bat: S. Watson, B. Haddin, M. Johnson, R. Harris, J. Pattinson, N. Lyon
Bowling: Steyn 10.1-0-44-1, Philander 19-2-66-1, Morkel 17.5-2-69-0, Duminy 9-0-37-1, Abbott 17-5-52-0, Elgar 15-0-63-0