David Warner has powered to 75 at lunch on day one of the Test series decider against South Africa in Cape Town, lifting Australia to a score of 1-118.
Australia raced to 1-118 at lunch on day one as David Warner dominated the first stanza of the Test series decider against South Africa.
Australia’s aggressive approach with the bat reached new levels of run-scoring haste in Cape Town after Michael Clarke won the toss.
Warner exorcised the side’s Newlands nightmares in a tick over half an hour.
The tourists needed 43 balls on Saturday to reach a total of 0-47, the same number of runs they were skittled for in the second innings of the 2011 Test at the same venue.
Warner, criticised in the lead-up by Proteas skipper Graeme Smith and slapped with punishments by both the ICC and Australia for controversial remarks on the opposition’s reverse-swing in the second Test, was at the fore.
The opener let his bat do the screaming, especially against Vernon Philander who he flayed for three boundaries in the sixth over.
The running between the wickets remained fiercely fast for the whole session, but the run-rate had slowed to a relatively sluggish 4.5 at the meal break with Warner on 75 and Alex Doolan 13.
Dale Steyn was taken off after an ineffective two-over opening spell, but on return removed Chris Rogers for 25.
Smith pouched a regulation catch at first slip after an ill-fated drive from Rogers in the 14th over.
Warner raised eyebrows for suggesting Australia should ask the umpires about the legality of wicketkeeper AB de Villiers’ handling of the ball with this glove in the second Test, but remains in great touch.
The 27-year-old scored 12, 115, 70 and 66 in his previous four innings on the current tour, but benefited from five dropped catches spread across the past two Tests.
Both sides made two changes for the all-important clash, Australia selectors dropping Shaun Marsh and Peter Siddle for Shane Watson and James Pattinson.
Watson will bat at No.6 in the reshuffled order, with Michael Clarke back at second drop in the absence of Marsh.
Pattinson has not played a first-class match since suffering a stress fracture of the back in the Ashes Test at Lord’s in July, 2013.
The Proteas recalled Kyle Abbott, who started with a maiden and at times was as challenging as Steyn, and Alviro Petersen in place of Quinton de Kock (omitted) and Wayne Parnell (groin strain).
Steyn had figures of 1-39 from seven overs, making him the most expensive of the hosts’ four quicks.
Australia need to win the clash to complete their first Test series win on foreign soil since April 2012.