Warner falls after half-century in first Test


Durban (South Africa) (AFP)

David Warner hit a half-century for Australia before being dismissed off the last ball prior to lunch on the first day of the first Test against South Africa at Kingsmead on Thursday.

Australia were 95 for three at lunch. Warner was out for 51, caught at second slip by AB de Villiers off Vernon Philander. Captain Steve Smith, who won the toss and decided to bat on an easy-paced pitch, was unbeaten on 24.

South Africa took two early wickets before Warner and Smith put on 56 for the third wicket.

Cameron Bancroft was caught behind by Quinton de Kock off Philander for five and Usman Khawaja fell to a diving catch by De Kock off Kagiso Rabada for 14.

Coming together at 39 for two, Warner and Smith both batted positively and ran well behind the wickets to add 56 runs for the third wicket off 92 balls.

Warner faced 79 balls and hit six fours.

South Africa used up both their reviews early on.

Morne Morkel thought he had trapped Bancroft leg before wicket with the third ball of the match, while left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj had a confident appeal for lbw against Warner turned down off his first ball after being brought on in the 11th over.

Umpire Kumar Dharmasena's not-out decisions were proved correct on both occasions.

South African captain Faf du Plessis, recovering from a broken right index finger, fielded at mid-on or mid-off instead of his usual position in the slips.