Cape Town - Opener David Warner hit a run-a-ball century as Australia took charge of the third and final Test by reaching 195 for two at tea on the first day at Newlands on Saturday.

Warner was unbeaten on 121, off 132 balls 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.

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.

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. – Reuters