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Warner gives Aussies flying start

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David Warner got Australia off to a flying start on the first day of the series-deciding third and final Test against South Africa. Photo by: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

David Warner got Australia off to a flying start on the first day of the series-deciding third and final Test against South Africa at Newlands on Saturday.

Warner made 75 not out off 73 balls as Australia reached 118 for one at lunch.

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.

Steyn conceded 18 runs in his first two overs from the southern, Kelvin Grove end and was taken off. However, he returned later from the Wynberg end and took the only wicket of the morning with the third delivery of his new spell, having Rogers caught at first slip for 25.

By that time Australia had scored 65 runs at almost five an over. Warner continued to play attacking strokes and reached his fourth successive score of 50 or better with the help of four overthrows after facing just 50 balls.

With the series locked at 1-1, both sides made two changes following South Africa's 231-run win in the second Test in Port Elizabeth.

Australian all-rounder Shane Watson was named for his first appearance of the series after recovering from a calf injury. He was listed to bat at number six, replacing Shaun Marsh, while fast bowler James Pattinson was selected ahead of Peter Siddle.

South Africa sprang a mild surprise when they named Kyle Abbott as a fourth specialist seam bowler to replace left-armer Wayne Parnell, who was injured during the second Test.

Abbott, the leading bowler in South Africa's domestic first-class competition, was chosen ahead of Rory Kleinveldt, who has been part of the squad for all three Test matches but is short of match fitness after suffering a minor injury two weeks ago which prevented him from playing for his franchise when not required for the Test team.

Abbott took seven for 29 against Pakistan last season in his only previous Test appearance, recording match figures of nine for 68. He has taken 22 wickets at an average of 13.09 in the current first-class franchise season.

Opening batsman Alviro Petersen returned after missing the second Test because of illness, with Dean Elgar due to bat at number three, Hashim Amla at four and Faf du Plessis moving from four to six. Quinton de Kock was left out. – AFP


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