South African pace spearhead Dale Steyn sounded an ominous warning before the Test series with Australia with a fiery spell of bowling in the drawn tour match with Australia A in Sydney today.
Test cricket's number one-ranked bowler produced a hostile spell described by teammate Jacques Rudolph as Steyn's fastest in seven years.
Steyn terrorised the Australia A top order with a five-over salvo, taking the wicket of Liam Davis in his haul of one for four.
Davis lasted 11 deliveries before being caught behind for a duck, while Rob Quiney (11 not out) and Phil Hughes managed to survive the hostilities before an early stumps was called.
Former Test opener Hughes faced the majority of Steyn's 150 km (93 mph) thunderbolts in the final hour of play, scoring one run off 27 balls.
Rudolph said Steyn's spell was one of the fastest he had seen. But he cautioned that the South African pace attack, which also includes Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel, should not get too excited at the prospect of a juicy pitch for the first Brisbane Test this week.
"What I've heard is that it seams a little bit. It sort of suits us in South Africa -- it's the kind of wicket we play on," he said.