David Warner hammers Proteas

2014-03-01 13:19

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Australia: 118/1 (Warner 75*, Rogers 25, Doolan 13*, Steyn 1/39)

David Warner took the game by the scruff of the neck as he put Australia in a strong position at lunch on the first day of the third and decisive test match.

As usual, Warner had been on the wrong side of the headlines with his injudicious statements regarding how South Africa attained reverse swing in the second test. He let his bat do the talking on what looked like a placid Newlands pitch in warm sunshine.

Australian captain Michael Clarke won the toss and had no hesitation in electing to bat first, perhaps mindful of the load his bowlers went through in Port Elizabeth.

Australia made two changes from the side that lost in Port Elizabeth. James Pattinson came in for Peter Siddle while Shane Watson replaced the enigmatic Shaun Marsh. South Africa also sported two changes in Kyle Abbott and Alviro Petersen, coming in for Wayne Parnell and Quinton de Kock.

The pitch was so good to bat on that good length balls were disappearing to the boundary as Australia embarked on a ferocious start. Warner was severe on anything that was remotely loose in line and length.

He motored to a run-a-ball 50 while Chris Rogers was intent on nudging. He did pick off the odd boundary when it came along though.

It was the kind of start Australia needed after an underwhelming batting performance in Port Elizabeth. Whatever momentum South Africa took with them from Port Elizabeth, it was forcefully seized from them.

They did get a wicket, that of Chris Rogers, whose thick outside edge was well caught by Graeme Smith at first slip to end the 65-run opening partnership.

The number of runs was not the most important part, but the rate at which Australia were going, South Africa were still going to be hard-pressed to stop them.

Warner settled down with first drop Alex Doolan and put together an uncomplicated 53-run partnership which took Australia to lunch. It is not often that teams bounce back from horrible first sessions as the one witnessed by the Proteas but should they not make any inroads in the afternoon session, the game could slip away very quickly.

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