Warner plundered the South African attack from ball one and took just 104 balls to bring up his seventh Test century before tea. Warner was finally out for 135 from just 152 balls (12 fours, one six), when JP Duminy had him caught behind by AB de Villiers as Australia lost their third wicket on 217.
After Warner's demise, captain Michael Clarke kept up the momentum as he brought up his 28th Test half-century off 122 balls (one six). It marked Clarke's highest score of the series, as he had struggled with scores of 19, 1, 23 and 17 in the first two Tests.
At the close of play Clarke (92) and Steve Smith (50) were the unbeaten batsmen, as they shared in a 114 run fourth wicket stand. Before tea, Clarke, though, was targeted by the South African bowlers. In Morne Morkel's ninth over, he produced a short ball assault on Clarke from around the wicket.
With the third ball, Morkel struck Clarke on the side of the helmet and the batsman fell to the ground. After a delay for receiving treatment, Clarke was able to play out the over. Alex Doolan (20) was the only wicket the South Africans claimed in the session. Doolan was out pulling Vernon Philander, but he top edged it to mid on to Dale Steyn as Australia lost their second wicket on 138.
The big blow for South Africa came when Steyn had to leave the field with a sore right hamstring. Team management said they would work on Steyn overnight and decide whether he could bowl on day two. In the morning session, Steyn took the first wicket for South Africa.
With Australia on 65 for no wicket, opener Chris Rogers was out for 25 caught at first slip by Graeme Smith, as Steyn found the edge. – Sapa