Warner ton puts Australia on top

CAPE TOWN: Opener David Warner hit a run-a-ball century as Australia took charge of the third and final test by reaching 294 for three when this report was filed on the first day at Newlands on Saturday.

Warner scored 135 off 152 with 12 fours as South Africa’s bowlers toiled on a lifeless wicket after the tourists had won the toss and elected to bat.

The left-hander was positive from the start as Australia went on the attack and their plan paid off.

He and fellow left-hander Chris Rogers took advantage of some loose bowling by Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander at the start of the innings after Australian captain Michael Clarke won the toss and took first use of what looked an ideal batting pitch.

Only Morne Morkel with his steep bounce looked threatening as he targeted Australia captain Michael Clarke (22 not out), hitting him on the gloves twice and striking him on the back of the helmet during a spell of ferocious fast bowling.

Skipper Michael  Clarke was unbeaten on 71, off 159 balls with six fours, with Steve smith(34) on the crease.

To add to South Africa’s problems, paceman Dale Steyn limped off complaining of pain in his right hamstring.

Steyn had picked up the first wicket, having opener Chris Rogers (25) caught at second slip by skipper Graeme Smith.

Alex Doolan then made 20 off 66 deliveries before trying to pull Vernon Philander and spooning a catch to Steyn at mid-on.

The series is level at 1-1 both sides made two changes following South Africa’s 231-run win in the second Test in Port Elizabeth.