Australia v South Africa, 3rd Test, Perth, 4th day

Big win confirms South Africa as No. 1

The Report by Daniel Brettig

December 3, 2012

Comments: 247 | Text size: A | A

South Africa 225 (du Plessis 78*) and 569 (Amla 196, de Villiers 169, Smith 84, Starc 6-154) beat Australia 163 (Wade 68, Steyn 4-40) and 322 (Starc 68*, Cowan 53, Steyn 3-72, Peterson 3-127) by 309 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Dale Steyn is pumped after claiming the wicket of Michael Hussey, Australia v South Africa, 3rd Test, Perth, 4th day, December 3, 2012
A 309-run victory underlined South Africa's status as the world's best side © Associated Press

To crib a line from E.T.'s Elliot, this is reality. South Africa embossed their No. 1 ranking with a fearful hiding of Australia in the series-deciding third Test in Perth, and not even the torrent of goodwill sent Ricky Ponting's way on his final day as an international cricketer could prevent resounding confirmation that the hosts remain a long way short of genuine aspirations to be the best team in the world. Three-hundred-and-nine runs short, in fact.

Ponting made an emotional last appearance at the Test match batting crease - fittingly afforded a guard of honour by Graeme Smith - but his final tally of eight was as unsatisfying as the rest of the day for Australia, as they failed completely to cope with the dimensions of a world-record run chase, or alternatively the need to bat for two days to save the match. The Ponting episode was a brief interlude in a day characterised by South Africa's unrelenting attack on the batsmen.

In the end it was the No. 10 Mitchell Starc who top scored with a freewheeling 68, entertainment for the crowd but an indictment on those before him. Only the obdurate Ed Cowan stood his ground for any length of time, but even he had reason to curse the manner of his departure, hooking at Dale Steyn and being taken at deep square leg.

Others were out in similarly cavalier manner without applying themselves for anywhere near as long, as Steyn, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Robin Peterson benefited from the pressure applied by each other. Peterson's left-arm spin was a particular delight for the visitors, drift, turn and bounce perhaps earning him a more permanent Test place ahead of the looser leg breaks of Imran Tahir.

South Africa's victory was just reward for a persistent campaign that showed an experienced understanding of Test cricket's nature as a game where how a team starts is far less critical than how one finishes. Passive at times in Brisbane and Adelaide, the visitors reached the WACA ground with the series all square thanks to the magnificent defiance of Faf du Plessis, and in the decider showed an instinct for the kill that underlined their ultimate superiority.

Australia, meanwhile, bore the look of a team that had fired all their bullets in the first two Tests. Despite a decent start to the match with a completely recast bowling attack, they were cut to pieces on the second day, those six hours opening a chasm that not even Ponting in his pomp would have had a chance of closing. Spectators were left to wonder how much Ponting's sorrowful exit had affected Australia's performance. On the final day their batting appeared distracted, showing little real interest in fighting the match out to a finish. It was Michael Clarke's first series loss as captain.

Any remote hopes Australia had harboured of producing something miraculous were more or less negated by the day's second ball. Philander had beaten Cowan outside off stump a few times on the third evening with balls seaming away, but this time David Warner snicked a similar delivery low to an exultant Smith at first slip.

Shane Watson and Cowan persisted for a time against bowling that was never less than exacting, their few angry shots standing out against mainly stony defence. Watson's quest to become a Test No. 3 of the required thoroughness is well-known, but he was to fall short again, shunted out by Morkel's hostility. First a bouncer singed Watson's nose, and next ball a fuller delivery on an immaculate line coaxed an edge to slip

That brought Ponting to the crease for what many hoped would be a major score. Ponting moved off nought with a regal pull shot from the bowling of Morkel, but exited when trying to force Peterson off the back foot through cover, Jacques Kallis taking a smart catch at slip. He walked from the field briskly, but turned to wave his bat to the WACA ground crowd one last time, as the ground's big screen was emblazoned with the words 'Thanks Ricky'.

Clarke and Cowan resumed after lunch with an aggressive approach, but it would prove the undoing of both. Cowan's hook at Steyn allowed Dean Elgar the first positive contribution of his debut as he tumbled to take the catch. Clarke was doubled over in pain when Philander struck him a stinging blow in the groin, and after a delay he resumed with seemingly little intention of knuckling down for the day. There were some attractive strokes, but it was no great surprise when Clarke jumped down the wicket to a beautifully teasing delivery from Peterson, was beaten in flight and spin and stumped by a distance.

Hussey's match concluded when he was nipped out from around the wicket for the second time in the match, and Matthew Wade's vain attempt to slog Peterson ended with a sharp catch at short midwicket. Mitchell Johnson did not last long after tea, snicking Philander, and John Hastings struck a pair of blows before doing likewise to Morkel. Nathan Lyon hung around long enough to help Starc hit out with some effect, notching a half-century from a mere 32 balls, but his parting shots were of only the briefest irritation to South Africa, rightfully the world's best team.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

RSS Feeds: Daniel Brettig

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by crh8971 on (December 3, 2012, 23:49 GMT)

To say SA didn't deserve to win is plain wrong. That would not be giving anywhere near enough credit to the great defensive effort to save the Adelaide test. If you can't close out a test match when you have the opportunity it can really hurt you from a series point of view. We have seen that here and in the last Ashes series in England. This was a great series to watch and the bottom line is that SA are a very, very good team with a strong core of outstanding players in the sweet spot age bracket of 27 to 32 with great test experience plus one 37 year old freak. Australia is still very much in transition and searching for the best squad of 15, let alone the best 11.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (December 3, 2012, 23:31 GMT)

Australia's 3rd place ranking is as high as your gonna get, SA & Eng are the heavyweights!

Posted by Fleming_Mitch on (December 3, 2012, 23:10 GMT)

Agree with the likes of CricHorizon and Edwards_A, with the great Ponting retired we now must rebuild for the ashes. Punter was a legend and I think he could have gone on longer if he wanted but he is a team man and the moment he thought he couldn't contribute to his standards he retired, hats off to him. He is right about the options available for his replacements, as a Bulls fan I would be biased towards Usman but he has earned it too, thanks to his batting this year we are at the top of the shield table, he single handidly won the game against Tasmania where his 140 odd outscored the Tasmanian's total. I think he is exactly what we need in the top order. Doolan is another one for me who I would keep my eye on.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 3, 2012, 23:02 GMT)

Well played SA. I certainly wouldn't go as far to say SA didn't deserve to win but I must commiserate with Australia/Australian fans who must all be feeling what might have been...? Think Mervo summed it up well in that there is little between these 2 sides and sometimes the gods don't smile on you. Funny to see the usual suspects booing/gloating.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 3, 2012, 23:02 GMT)

@CricketingStargazer on (December 03 2012, 14:37 PM GMT) You could be right there , although I think we go too far the other way and a couple of our players are getting picked for their past performances rather than what they're doing now.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 3, 2012, 23:02 GMT)

@Harmony111 on (December 03 2012, 09:12 AM GMT) Fair point re SA and spinners but I wonder if they have actually got decent spinners but have made an error in sticking with Tahir all this time?

Posted by anikeert on (December 3, 2012, 22:51 GMT)

Someone mentioned in here that England is the top 3 test team in the last 10 years. That too me is the biggest joke I've heard in the last 10 years.

Posted by shovwar on (December 3, 2012, 22:50 GMT)

@MARLBORO19 AND MArCIO. To all the sporting OZ fans thanks for all the nice comments about SA cricket team. You guys realised how great this SA team is. OZ can become better but they have to sort out some selection problems. SA are clearly the best side in Test Cricket right now. Even in their bad days they are good enough to hold on to draws. And in their better days they can blow away any side. Now thats the sign of the no.1 side. SA's 1 good test was better than 2 good test Aus had. To Marlboro19 and Marcio: Both sides had the same share of fortunes. Remember one thing fortune favors the brave n strong. But ur comments suggest you guys are kinda disturbed by the defeat. But at the end of the day whatever u say n believe if it helps u sleep better at night than i dont have a problem. Merry Xmas and a Happy New year.

Posted by dalboy12 on (December 3, 2012, 22:43 GMT)

Great series - well done SA that was an awesome test - shame you didn't play with the same intensity in the first two. Series will be known for key injuries which affected both teams. Looks like poor old Black Caps could be in for a hiding as they have to try and play this SA team in SA now ---- Owell. Maybe they will rest Philander, Steyn, Amla and De Villers to even it up a little - lol.

Posted by drnaveed on (December 3, 2012, 22:23 GMT)

@ Malboro19 , you said "I will have to say Aus did dominate most of this series , and they were unlucky to loose it. SA won't be no. 1 for long , enjoy till it lasts". well !,how could you say this ?.remember,in the first test duminy was injured on the 1st day of the test match, while in the second test, kallis got injured also on the 1st day of the test match, after taking 2 wickets in just less than 3 overs he bowled there, and was unable to bat on his regular number 4 position.despite that their remaining players fought extremely hard to draw those test matches, & when they played with their full strength, they knocked the AUS within 4 days of the test match. further more, it was SA ,who came to AUS as no 1 ranked side in the world,& they kept their 1st position intact. yes, this series was like a boxing match, AUS side punching the SA badly in the first 2 test matches, but when the SA side got the opportunity they, knocked out the AUS. side.yes no one is going to stay no1 4 ever.

Posted by maddy20 on (December 3, 2012, 22:15 GMT)

@Hammond Actually mate, its England who are tempting SA U-19 cricketers with lucrative contracts because of lack of a talent pool. trott and KP played for SA U-19 before they were leeched by ECB. I mean can you imagine England without KP and Trott(Particularly KP). The few tests that England win or save are primarily because of him(last test against India, the second test vs SA being the recent examples).

Posted by Meety on (December 3, 2012, 22:13 GMT)

@ SamRoy on (December 03 2012, 09:47 AM GMT) - the selection of Hastings IMO - was not a bad selection IF he was one of 5 specialist bowlers, (I don't consider Watto a specialist). I would of had Hastings instead of Watto, with Lyon + 3 specialist pacers, (inc one of Siddle or Hilfy). Impossible to say, but I would of suggested under that scenario, Sth Africa would not of had the 2nd innings run rate they had, & may not of got as many 1st innings runs. As I said though, that's a What-if & means nothing other than food for a good old pub arguement!

Posted by Tumi_tlhomz on (December 3, 2012, 22:00 GMT)

1 victory against india has made the english quickly forget their humbling defeat to us. Someone saying england have young players etc. Save for kallis-smith 31,amla 29,ab 28,faf 28,duminy 28,philander 27,steyn 29,morkel 28. Most of our team still has a lot of years ahead of them. We are superior in all dep to the poms except in the spin dep. We didn't play great cricket throughout the series but champions know how to win even when not at their best!!

Posted by Tumi_tlhomz on (December 3, 2012, 21:47 GMT)

Great victory by the proteas. Aussies had us on the back foot for the majority of the series but were not able to capitalise,also due to the fightback engineered by faf,kallis and ab in the 2nd test. SA still need to sort out some things but in general we are an all round great side with great players. Just need to be more consistent then we'll be able to maintain the #1 spot for some time to come. Deserved number 1's.

Posted by Mitcher on (December 3, 2012, 21:34 GMT)

Another great tour of Australia by the Sth Africans. It seems the better they get the more respect they demand and more humble they become. Hate seeing Australia lose but these guys deserve it. They are a true number one: unlike the two absolute pretenders who preceded them.

Posted by BG4cricket on (December 3, 2012, 21:23 GMT)

I would agree that SA performed superbly in this Test and as a result deservedly took the series. In saying I think their key was keeping their great attack largely on the park which is something Australian cricket has struggled to do recently and the result was a mauling in the second innings from Amla, Smith and AB. To replace the whole first string attack for such an important match speaks very poorly if the training and conditioning used in a professional sporting environment and just imagine if SA had to do without Steyn and Morkel as to how they would have gone. It did show that a half fit Suddle would have been better than Hastings who is not up to this level. However the batsmen lost this Test and Clarkie and Huss couldn't rescue us from again being less than 3/100 and the second innings was a complete capitulation devoid of fight - need to find a top 3 that can perform as a unit very quick before the Ashes

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 21:10 GMT)

Well as someone who plays golf an analogy is actually quite fitting. Somebody once told me it's not how good your good shots are but how bad your bad ones is which determines your quality as a player. Australia threw their best at them, had them against the ropes but they had the goods to keep them at bay even during times when they didn't all play as well as we all know they can. However when they did get it together they made one of the best test teams in the world look ordinary. Hats off to the Aussies for giving it their all, but a very well deserved congrats to our boys you made us proud!!!

Posted by kingsmead_mamba on (December 3, 2012, 21:02 GMT)

Reading some of the aus supporters comments during this series makes this victory so so so much sweeter. You guys are clearly still stuck in the past. FYI warne, magrath, gilcrest, are long gone. If they were still around they would have finished off the 2nd test. So when you lose now its not bad luck, its simply that you guys are no longer good enough. BTW this is not aimed at all the aus supporters, but just a few like... Never mind your'll know who you are, lol.

Posted by jb633 on (December 3, 2012, 20:56 GMT)

Hmm seems like everyone will just have to accept that SA are the best side in the world. Certainly against pace they are head and shoulders above everyone. Their away record is impeccable with away wins in NZ, ENG, Aus. I think their next big challenge will be playing against India or Pakistan on a rank turner. SA can dominate any side when the conditions are conducive to any seam movement. In England they were terrific and although in this series they looked less convincing they performed when it really matterd. This series was won on the last day of Adelaide. The momentum had been completley shifted to SA and by the start of this test Aus were struggling with injuries and also anxities that they may be punished for not being clinical. Aus have got to find a means of sorting out the top 3. Like many have said before you can't keep relying on 2/3 players to dig you out of a hole, at some point they will fail too.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 20:40 GMT)

@Chris_P - Not sure where you've been mate but there are several articles on this website, not just this one. Go read all the other articles relating to this test series on this website and you'll find all the evidence you need. Regards your culture of not whinging - be honest, you Aussies whinge as much as anybody else including the Saffers. Yes, many Aussies have congratulated SA and equally many Saffers have congratulated AUS for their performance. There would be more respect if more Aussies just said, "Darn, we had our chances, we weren't able to take them, SA got a chance, took it and beat us. Ok, it hurts but that's cricket." Yes, AUS are rebuliding (and everybody has to endure this at some stage) but the gap between SA & AUS was bigger than it appeared. SA played way below par while AUS played above their current form and had home ground advantage. This elevated AUS above their current ability. With respect, AUS cricket (selectors & coach included) seems confused at present.

Posted by pat_one_back on (December 3, 2012, 20:36 GMT)

@Martin Nosworthy, I think you need to chill a bit, hard to reflect on a series without a few what if's and if only's, there were plenty of these with respect to Duminy & Kallis before SA dominated in Perth. These take nothing away from SA, yes they won but Aussies can take pride in how close they came to No 1, they were supposed to be wiped off the planet according to EVERY non-Aust pre-series comment here. Cracking series, IF ONLY only there'd been 5 tests so we could've enjoyed it longer!

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 20:15 GMT)

@popcorn - thankyou, finally someone else seeing Warner for waht he is; a glorified slogger who was picked in the Test team on the basis of his T20 and ODI form. Send him back to Shield cricket and tell him he won't be picked in the Test team again until he learns what the role of an opener is (ie to get through the new ball and blunt the bowling attack). His dismissal in the first dig was the opening the Saffers were looking for, and exposed the middle order to Stey, Morkel and co when the ball was still new and they were at their most dangerous. I'd rather persist with someone like Cowan and Khawaja who have showed they have the patience to play at the top of the order.

Posted by djdrastic on (December 3, 2012, 20:12 GMT)

@Martin Nosworthy - Too right sir.

Posted by usernames on (December 3, 2012, 20:12 GMT)

Unlucky? Ha! Australia had flat beds for the first two tests and their flat track bullies made hay. When they came to Perth, they got stuck into the real #1. Plain and simple.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 19:58 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa - agree with you that SA were the better team in this series and that Test matches in this country are well supported, however the blackout zones (i assume you are referring to the game not being televised live in the city the match is being played in) are long gone. The Nine network shows the game live in full, and when they switch to normal programming on their main channel, they show the cricket on their digital platform. No 'What ifs' from me - we were outplayed when it mattered, and our batsmen (Clarke and Hussey excepted) showed no application when under the pump. I hope they took note of Faf in Adelaide and Amla in Perth. For me, Du Plessis should have been man of the series - I fear he will be a thorn in our sides for a few years to come.

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (December 3, 2012, 19:50 GMT)

SA had the ability to kill the test off Australia didn't simple. It appears if Clarke and Hussey don't produce meaningful knocks they are up creek without a means of propelling their craft. The 'revered' pace attack remains promising but seemingly made of glass and for such young bowlers (Harris excluded) that is not good. Seems when a pitch was prepared that was not a road the undeniable SA attack went to town and the big game batsmen produced. The rankings (1.SA 2. Eng 3. Aus) seem about right time will tell though.

Posted by getsetgopk on (December 3, 2012, 19:44 GMT)

Who wrote that dossier? It had to be his fault, the indians are beating the poor groundsman for not winning the test match, the Aussies must fire the guy responsible for drafting organized hooliganism on the cricket field. Well played SA!!!

Posted by altafcricketaddict on (December 3, 2012, 19:24 GMT)

So South Africa keeps the number 1 position and truly they deserve this!! What a performance from the Saffas. First, Hashim Amla displayed a wonderful innings and the way he is playing, I reckon, he is going to be the next big thing in world cricket, provided he keeps the momentum going, after Tendulkar, Ponting and Dravid! De villiers's hundred was also fantastic and both of these players made the aussie bowlers look abysmal and dull. Australia should have a re-think on their squad before they come in and play against India in India! That won't be easy, although they can beat Srilanka in the coming series, but in Indian pitches likes of Cowan, Quiney or Warner won't do much. I guess, surely they need to bank on Khawaja, Hughes and Doolan. All three should visit India.Their batting is depending too much on their Captain, Clarke and that's not a good sign at all.David Hussey can also be considered for tests in India, and he has a spinning habit too.Lets see what Australian selectors do!

Posted by therealutopianindigent on (December 3, 2012, 19:23 GMT)

South Africa clicked back to champions mode overnight after the first day. I am impressed with the steel induced by iron man Kirsten in a team that has always been good, but never had killer instinct. The Test World Championship, now belonging to South Africa again, seems to follow Kirsten around.

Peterson has taken many years, like spinners sometimes do, to get there but bowled beautifully. Smith also employed him beautifully. Has South Africa ever had such a comprehensive bowling attack?

The period where Amla punished the bowlers for not bowling perfectly was probably from a quality point of view the highlight of the match.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 3, 2012, 19:04 GMT)

@Martin Nosworthy Hahaa, I can see why cricinfo doesnt post your posts - borderline offensive but funny.

I think a previous poster summed it up best, it was a 3 round boxing match. The first round was even, aussie won the 2nd round convincingly but then got knocked out cold in the 3rd round. No one remembers who won a round on points, they only remember who won the fight. Enough said, save your Ifs and Buts, get your batting 1-5 lineup sorted out and decide what bowlers need to bowl (Siddle saying he was fit, selectors thinking otherwise, Hilfenhaus was fit) !!

Looking ahead SA have NZ and Pakistan at home, which will be nice. I just wish we (in SA) could support and spectate Test cricket better at cricket grounds with more numbers like the Aussies and English do, adminstrators need to pull finger and get more interest going or create 'black out zones' like they do in aussie.

Posted by Chris_P on (December 3, 2012, 18:24 GMT)

@Martin Nosworthy. Having not read or heard anything you have claimed, help me understand where you came up with that relevation? There isn't one Aussie fan who didn't acknowledge or congratulat the Boks on their effort. What we don't do is whine, we, as a people will come back as hard as we can. That is our culture. For a team still very much in rebuilding phase & a long way to go to get the ideal team, I am more than happy with the progress to date. To sit in the top 3 with such an unsettled side (could be 2nd if England lose next test) I am happy in the direction we are going. There are plemty of options & problems ahead, not the least a quality young batsman, but CA are still laying out prigrams. Long term, it looks more than good. SHort term future, plenty of problems to overcome.

Posted by Dr.Vindaloo on (December 3, 2012, 18:12 GMT)

Test cricket is all about being able to seize the initiative and ram home your advantage. Aus failed to do this in Adelaide, SA did it emphatically in Perth. Same applied in 2009 Ashes series when the averages suggested that Aus was the far superior side yet they failed to win the big moments (eg not taking the last wicket at Cardiff). Comment about Aus deserving to draw or win the series are completely missing this point.

Posted by marlboro19 on (December 3, 2012, 18:10 GMT)

I will have to say Aus did dominate most of this series , and they were unlucky to loose it. SA won't be no. 1 for long , enjoy till it lasts.

Posted by stormy16 on (December 3, 2012, 17:56 GMT)

SA showed their class when it mattered and lets not forget the back to the wall defense in the last two tests. I thought Aus were too lose today which required 'trenches' like batting but I thought they were too 'breezy' inviting the inevitable. SA's bowlers were fantastic to say the least with everyone doing their part with Robbin being the surprise. All arguments and doubts of SA are over - they have beaten Eng at home, the previous number1 and Aus at home and in total beaten both Aus and Eng twice away. It is SA's time at the top and they have been nothing short of sensational.

Posted by landl47 on (December 3, 2012, 17:28 GMT)

A very good series with the end coming as a bit of an anticlimax. SA had one great day, day 2 of this test, and it decided the whole series. Aus can consider themselves unlucky to have played so well for stretches of the series and not to have come away with at least a tie. It shouldn't be forgotten that Aus had SA on the ropes in the first innings of this test and only another heroic rearguard action from Faf du Plessis dragged them back to respectability. SA has star players who will go down as all-time greats and when they play at their best (as Smith, Amla and de Villiers did in the second innings) they can dominate any attack in the world. Anyway, well done to both sides for a fascinating series.

Posted by sweetspot on (December 3, 2012, 17:06 GMT)

SA on the rise! Awesome to see them overcoming so many almost win situations and really dominating. They are the best travellers it must be said, and have been for some time now.

The English "way to play" has in a hundred years included 9 teams in the whole world. I can't wait for the new realities to bear fruit and the game getting more popular in whatever colour.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 17:00 GMT)

There is only one thing making this AUS defeat worse and that is the whinging and "what if's" from all their supporters. "AUS deserve this, SA don't deserve that etc." You had moments and periods of domination that you weren't strong enough to drive home. SA stood up to the best you had to offer and then delivered the sucker punch that felled you like a falling tree. Offer all the excuses you want - YOU LOST. On another note; no one takes the United Nations, sorry, I mean English cricket seriously anymore. Where was English cricket before all the South African's joined them - nowhere, absolutely nowhere. There are so many foreign players in England now that all teams visiting the UK now claim home ground advantage!! Please CricInfo, please post at least one of my posts!!

Posted by quittthewhinging on (December 3, 2012, 17:00 GMT)

@ Wesley Lazarus.

I agree with your comments although I think that AB should be relieved of the WK duties sooner rather than later. He was forced into it by Boucher's mishap and he has never wanted it due to a back problem. Depending on his further progress in the next 2 years both as WK and batsman, 19yo Quinton de Kock should be groomed for that position. And remember AB is arguably our best fielder so that aspect would also be strengthened.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 3, 2012, 16:59 GMT)

Like I predicted 2 days back, Aussies got a pasting. God only knows how some of their fans even contemplated chasing down 632 !!! Well done SA. You are certainly deserving of the no.1 status.

Posted by AltafPatel on (December 3, 2012, 16:53 GMT)

In 2 tests and first inning of 3rd test, Australia absolutely dominated its opponent before final Ali punch came and grounded them...

Posted by bumsonseats on (December 3, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

henchart a pom in another live must have done something to randy2 as its getting more hysterical as the months go on. true they were beaten badly in the last ashes and if cricinfo had been around when they were doing it to us i would have rolled up in a bowl and kept quite. maybe when the next meeting between the 2 countries and they get beaten again maybe it will happen then. even when the piece has nothing to do with indians or poms we are still brought into the subject. Freudian perhaps

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 16:16 GMT)

Really gracious comments from the Aussie supporters which are much appreciated by many of us Saffers. Your team did you proud. It was one of those classic test series which fans from either side won't forget for a long time. And to top it all off a grand farewell to one of the all time greats. All the best Punter. I'm just sad the series is over.

Posted by drnaveed on (December 3, 2012, 16:07 GMT)

AUS side proved that they were poor finishers in this series, instead of winning it 2-1 ,they lost it 1-0 .SA side proved their supremacy in the game,twice their players saved the game for their side and Country, remember their two players (DUMINY AND KALLIS ) got injured in the initial stages of the first 2 test matches through injuries . SA thoroughly deserved the number 1 ranking in test cricket.for RICKY PONTING ,it was a sad ending to a great career, we will miss you in the game.

Posted by justtogood on (December 3, 2012, 15:36 GMT)

@jango moh - thats cricket my mate do you recall was it last yeat when ENG held on to two tests in SA when they were down and out??? SA were well on top but the last bat kept Eng alive for the draw!!!!

@HAMMOND -Who Eng GOING TO CLEAN UP??? they have been exposed and dont even start with 1 test being the last like the rugby team win 1 game and now you the best!!! LOL

Posted by sanjeevmukherjee2006 on (December 3, 2012, 15:25 GMT)

Sa r the best because they have won 2 test series in england and 2 test series in aus they also drew test series against india in india and sa their bowling attack is the best

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (December 3, 2012, 15:25 GMT)

@Highflyer, I don't recall any of the Tests in England being won by South Africa by 300 runs! In fact, England should have won the 2nd Test and got pretty close to pulling of a remarkable chase in the 3rd Test.

Posted by Hammond on (December 3, 2012, 15:11 GMT)

@Saleem Daewood- actually mate England will keep picking it's best citizens that have qualified to play for England purely on merit and won't practice any discrimination. If the quota system (and other reasons) in SA keeps gifting the UK talented cricketers that can be moulded by English coaches and hard skilful county cricket, then so be it, why should the ECB complain? It's not as if they are forcing anyone to move to the UK and become a citizen is it???

Posted by Indiana_jones99 on (December 3, 2012, 15:05 GMT)

Congrats to South Africa. They deserve the No. 1 ranking. An end of an era with Ricky Ponting the player with the most number of test wins. A great player who gave everything for the Team. What a team player.

May be the top 3 teams in the current ranking system (South Aftrica, Australia and England) should play each other one test (total of 3 test matches) to decide a winner of Test World Cup. If a match is a draw then the team which has the first innings lead win the points. If all three teams are tied at the end then the team with most net runs (runs scroed less runs conceded) are the winners. Played either in South Africa, Australia or England.

Posted by bumsonseats on (December 3, 2012, 15:02 GMT)

lewis could not agree more, when as failed captain he did not die on his own sword after loosing ashes series. a captain in eng - aus is not remembered by what hes won but by what he lost and win/lose against the poms is whats remembered no matter what some will say. mike brealey never a great batter but could beat the aussies and will be remembered for that. ponting a great cricketer average captain and leader of men, why did he go on for so long, you got it he wanted to beat the poms in england as it would be a stain on his record plain and simple. saffa series may come and go ashes will be remembered just as the aussies remember the home 5 - 0 win and england the away 3 - 1 win. its inbred ask 99.99% of sports minded A or E fans. maybe not one or two who may differ. ashes count and it hurts when it happens

Posted by Jabulani on (December 3, 2012, 15:02 GMT)

@Adam - don't confuse people who support SA over Aus and Saffas. I haven't heard one Saffa imply that dead pitches were prepared to blunt the SA attack. It would be a silly move with SA's batting line up i.e. it could easily backfire. No I think the pitches just ended up flatter than expected - it happens.

Posted by moegoe on (December 3, 2012, 15:02 GMT)

Faf du Plessis should've been Man of the Series. Not only did he save the 2nd test but in the process he also batted Australia's duo of strike bowlers out of the 3rd test, allowing SA to set the winning total in Perth.

Posted by maddy20 on (December 3, 2012, 14:57 GMT)

@Marcio,Jonesy The team that deserved to win has won the series. Try Asking Mr.Ponting, CLarke or Hussey to bat for 4 and half sessions to save a test, on a pacy wicket Du Plessis's knock was the best match saving innings I have seen in a long time and now that Dravid has retired, I cannot think of anyone else who can play one like that. They also had to make do without Kallis' bowling for most part of the second test. Its no joking matter. Add to that the fact, they played the first test with 10 players(6 batsmen) and still managed to save it. After the gritty draws, SA had enough and pounded Aus ruthlessly to put them in their place. A very well deserved victory. Enjoy your merry days thrashing the Lankans, for it will be another 2-0 defeat(atleast) in India after that, like the 2 identical blankings before!

Posted by Highflyer_GP on (December 3, 2012, 14:55 GMT)

@ jonesy.2: I reckon that the Aussies have come a long way since their decline. Not too long ago they were in the middle of the table, so to be able to challenge for the #1 position in the manner that they did is commendable. They certainly put up more of a fight than the Poms.

Posted by Highflyer_GP on (December 3, 2012, 14:52 GMT)

@Adam Grech: What's with the sour grapes? I think you'll find that many of the people complaining about flat pitches are not even from SA. We've played on flatter pitches than Adelaide and Brisbane, so there's no excuses. The difference between the two teams is that SA were able to close out the game from a dominant position, whereas Australia wasn't. And injuries is not an excuse, because both teams were hit by injuries.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 14:50 GMT)

Good series and we can learn a lot from this building to the future, Australia pushed us to the brink of defeat but for strength in character and putting away personal glory for the sake of the team is what ultimately won us this series pretty much backs to the wall.

We do however have areas of concern, predominatly a middle order all rounder and slow bowling. I do see Duminy slotting straight in when he returns which will strengthen the batting with Duminy and Faf at 6 and 7. I think Robbie Peterson will take over as first choice spinner with some batting prowess though I do think Tahir will be given another chance in the squad for the NZ series. We have a wealth of seam options domestically but the spin stakes are limited with Aaron Phangiso being the only candidate not already in the squad. Batting wise I think we have options but it was a bad decision putting Elgar into such a pressure game.

Posted by swat1999 on (December 3, 2012, 14:50 GMT)

Congratulation South Africa, this is a wel deserved win and most honourable win in a decae. Proteous played very wel. Seems they Wake up from Adelaid and show their fire power at Perth. It will be very difficult to deny south africa as a number one test team in the planet. Their main achievement is Faf Du Plessis he is one of my best cricketer.

Posted by thirdmanboundary on (December 3, 2012, 14:47 GMT)

A fantastic win: equal parts talent and application. I was worried about SA's lack of a 4th bowler, but Australia didn't really test that potential weakness. Re. young SA talent coming through: a v. pacy, aggressive quick in Morris, Quinton de Kok as aggressive wicketkeeper-batsman, Phangiso as a talented, disciplined spinner. Marchant de Lange? Like Cummins, he may have action problems that cause him injuries. They're both talented and quick but tend to break down. A huge congrats to SA on a deserved victory. It was particularly refreshing, in the final test, to see the SA batsman score aggressively, breaking with the stereotype of SA as dour accumulators. (Although in emergencies accumulators have their place: case in point, Faf).

Posted by Hammond on (December 3, 2012, 14:44 GMT)

Just can't wait to see England create the same silence on this site as they always do when they clean up. You can always use the old "he was born in South Africa" garbage. In 12 months they will back on top where they belong. The originators of the game showing the rest the way to play.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (December 3, 2012, 14:37 GMT)

Part of the Australian problem is an inability to decide who the best players are and to stick to them. A year ago we were hearing that Australia had the best young attack in the world but who was leading the attack in the Perth Test? Mitchell Johnson, who has been found wanting time and again between very occasional devastating performances. Similarly, who is the new batsman to replace Ricky Ponting? The name that is being touted is Phil Hughes, someone wlse who has been picked on multiple occasions and found wanting. Players like Peter Siddle are honest workhorses, but are rarely going to be match-winners. The batting has looked very fragile, although Michael Clarke has managed to paper over the cracks, but he needs more consistent support. Against Sri Lanka Australia should do really well, but will that hold them in good stead against a better side where they need to get runs from the first 3 wickets and knock over all 20 wickets of the opposition?

Posted by jango_moh on (December 3, 2012, 14:33 GMT)

this was actually a much more even series than the author gives credit for!!! SA could hve easily lost the last test!!, would hve liked atleast a 4 test series... some good test matches being played all across the world, and its good for cricket!!! well played both teams, and congrats to SA...

Posted by samincolumbia on (December 3, 2012, 14:32 GMT)

Wow....The 'great' aussies humiliated by the saffas by a whopper in their own backyard. Aussie fans talk a lot about India's away record, but they should be looking at their team's home record first!!

Posted by allieeb on (December 3, 2012, 14:21 GMT)

Saffas deserve to be tops as I think series should have been shared. What now for Oz? With Ponting gone should bring in Khawaja & Hughes as they need to settle into team. Waiting for day when Cummins Pattinson Harris play together

Posted by Ross_Co on (December 3, 2012, 14:16 GMT)

Congratulations Saffas. Oz won the first 2 rounds on points but it was the K.O. in round 3 that decided the contest. Both teams are to be congratulated on the series - in particular the Saffas at Adelaide where they didn't Pull A Cardiff - no time wasting, just played cricket. That earned huge respect here from a nation that watched in utter disgust the 2009 shenanigans employed to save a test. Hopefully Saffa supporters likewise appreciate that they have now truly earned their title, having had to fight like hell for it against a top flight team. In contrast to their holiday tour of England. We'll be coming for that title soon enough - hopefully we won't have it already thanks to just winning back to back ashes series. We should have to get it in SA. C U then!

Posted by ThirdRenegade on (December 3, 2012, 14:15 GMT)

Just to recoup, Australia in this started as the favorite but somewhere down the line especially after 2 Tests the writing was on the wall & their fight, resilience & self belief was vaporized as the South Africans refused to play ball. Such an attitude of toying with the opposition morale would knock the stuffing out of most teams like India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan & England of yore but in Tests, RSA are counter punchers! They fight hard & square refusing to let an inch slip which is disconcerting for the hosts especially on foreign tours. Ideologically speaking RSA aren't the best #1 as they don't have decent spin & the greatest pace bowlers yet plus their batting is gritty but not one to survive against great spin! I felt Australia lacked their best team in Perth & the overload on their best bowlers in Adelaide was their undoing! Plus arrogance overall & their wish to give Punter his swansong contributed to their downfall. Many heads are going to roll prior to their facing Sri Lanka

Posted by C.A-SA1987 on (December 3, 2012, 14:12 GMT)

Posted by Adam Grech on (December 03 2012, 13:08 PM GMT

If anything, those were english and indian posters making those comments. We are by default, a cautious bunch of supporters and were more worried about our side's performance than the performance of the pitch. We were indeed outplayed in the first two matches and showed great determination to squeeze out the draws. When it came to the crunch, we delivered. The whole "pitch is flat" argument is from people who have not played cricket. Firstly, you can have a flat road in front of you, but if there is moisture in the air then the ball will swing though the air, regardless of the surface. Secondly, as we've seen, an inspired spell of bowling can cause damage on even the flattest of pitches. Too much movement and it misses the edge. Please do not get the impression that south africans are gloating with this victory. We're proud yes, but not arrogant.

Posted by LazloWoodbine on (December 3, 2012, 14:11 GMT)

Congrats to SA and Australia on a wonderful series, and one which both teams can look back on with some pride. They played the game in great spirit, and yet all three Tests were hard-fought. As for some of the more inflammatory and ridiculous comments from so-called SA (probably Aussie too) "fans", most of whom are not citizens of either country, well we should just ignore them. There was nothing wrong with the pitches and the Australians have shown what a wonderful side they can - and will - be. It was a privilege to see the likes of Clarke, Amla and Kallis at it on the same stage, and to witness the passing of an era in Aussie cricket with Ponting's retirement. Thank you Australia for being such gracious hosts, and here's to the next series against you folks.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 14:11 GMT)

When other bowler strikes it's only a draw. When Steyn strikes SA wins. Needs to think about that. Good performance by SA. But some improvements needed. Who's is frontline spinner is a question still need to be answered.

Posted by henchart on (December 3, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

@RandyOz: You wont turn in your grave by desisting references to Indians and Poms, would you?Leave them alone mate and celebrate the drubbing of once mighty Aussies or mourn their thrashing whichever way you look at it.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

@jonsey2: Series are won by the team that desrves to win (especially now that technology can reduce umpiring error). Just because Australia utterly dominated some sessions in the 1st two tests does not mean they desrved to win. Test cricket is a 5 day battle; the weather, the umpiring decisions, injuries, the luck of the toss all are part of the spectacle. If SA were good enough to resist the best efforts of Australia and scrape a couple of draws (and in doing so inflict mental and physical damage on their opposition) before winning the decider convincingly, then they very much desrve to win the Test series, however admirably the performances and efforts of the likes of Clarke, Hussey, Siddle and co were. I'm all for partisan rivallry and banter, but at the end of the day have the class to give credit were it is due, don't look for excuses, congratulate your opponents and maybe leave off with "we'll be ready for you next time!". I'm sure that's what your Punter would have done.

Posted by popcorn on (December 3, 2012, 13:56 GMT)

It is time the Selectors realized that David Warner cannot be depended upon as a RELIABLE Opener.He is a flash in the pan like Phil Hughes.My Batting Line -Up would be 1. Khwaja or Quiney 2. Ed Cowan 3. Quiney or Khawaja 4. Shane Watson 5. Michael Clarke 6. Mike Hussey 7. Mathew Wade 8. Peter Siddle 9. Mitchell Johnson 10. Mitchell Starc 11.Nathan Lyon

Posted by popcorn on (December 3, 2012, 13:50 GMT)

The irony is that Australia had South Africa gasping for breath in the first two Tests, and COMPLETELY OUTPLAYED them, and you say they are the winners just because they won the third? If you recall,in 208,South Africa beat Australia IN Australia, then Australia beat South Africa IN South Africa BY IDENTICAL MARGINS - both Three Test Series, and we recently had a two Test series in which both sides won one Test each. So who's the winner? This is a hollow victory foir South Africa, and they would know it well,in the heart of hearts. A TRUE Contest would be a Five Test Series like the Ashes.

Posted by Supa_SAFFA on (December 3, 2012, 13:49 GMT)

And there it is. Deep into the endgame, SA string together the crucial counter-attacking combination, swing the big fork, trap the Aussie queen lbw, skewer the remaining wickets and set up a simple yet overwhelming checkmate on the back pitch with all the major pieces finally coming into play. AUS sacrificed too much material in the middle game for positional advantage, playing with tactical flourish, but ultimately lost tempo as SA's pawn formation held firm. As I said before, grandmasters prevail in the endgame, and what a grand final it was.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 3, 2012, 13:36 GMT)

With England and South Africa so close, and every other team barely worth a mention and languishing far down the rankings (That's you Australia), international cricket is a fascinating place at the moment. If you're someone that just enjoys the game and likes a laugh, take a look at the 'Spinners' that the Aussies produce. Shouldn't the first rule of a spinner be that he can actually spin the ball? You'd think so, Australia clearly don't. How they must yearn for a Swann or Panesar. How they must yearn for a quality batting line up. How they must ache for a decent wicket keeper/batsmen, like England have in Prior. And how they must fear the next Ashes. Yet more innings defeats in their own back yard are sure to follow for them next year.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 13:35 GMT)

all hail gc smith! when he took over in 2003, sa were nowhere and now look. where is warney with his 2-0 predictions for oz? lol sa are the kings of test cricket and long may it continue!

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 13:31 GMT)

Ehem . great article too much biased toward a loosing team nothing about Hashem Amla or great SA bowlers who produced great bowling. anyway thanks.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 3, 2012, 13:30 GMT)

After the Australian groundsmen produced road after road to give the Aussie batsmen a chance, mixed in with some fascinatingly poor bowling from Tahir and all the other SA bowlers early in the series, Australia were put in their place by the world's number 1 team. It'll be a while yet before Australia move into the top five in the world, their problems are exhaustively known to all cricket-watchers out there. They now have a weak Sri Lankan team next to boost their confidence, they need it all right. Fans around the world may laugh at Clarke's inept captaincy, Australia's fragile batting, and the long line of 'spinners' since Warne that they've tried out, but they are doing their best. Their best, however, is no where near the mark.

Posted by jonesy2 on (December 3, 2012, 13:30 GMT)

a seriously unbelievable series and i mean that as in its hard to fathom what happened. the two best teams in the world, SA won the series but they didnt deserve to, i drawn series is the deserved result. i still think its ok though for australia they still need to just keep winning nothing changes for them to become a sustainable number 1 team, they will get a settled side with usman coming in and a full compliment of bowlers and at the end of the summer they will still go to india and england as favourites, i think the number 1 spot has just been delayed and the south africans can enjoy it for a little bit longer before its taken away. obviously cricket has lost its greatest champion, maybe that got to the australians in this match. i have grown up watching ricky ponting and test cricket will never be the same.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 13:25 GMT)

@hammond are u talking about more reserves coming from SA.HaHa. 2/3 of ur team are SA. U were convincingly beaten. Every time SA visits ur shores we cause a change in ur captaincy. Can't wait see Cook also fly.

Posted by Marcio on (December 3, 2012, 13:21 GMT)

Well done SA in winning a very memorable test series. Both sidses can take plenty of positives (and some negatives) from the series. Austarlia played excellent cricket for the first 11 days of the series, and that shouldn't be forgotten, with Pattinson's breakdown being the real turning point. I hope the science guys are pushed to the periphery of the team, as they are doing more harm than good. 1st we had Watson bought back from the CLeague b/c they were scared of him being injured - then he got injured in AUS. Doh! Then they replaced the whole f/bowling lineup - bad for team harmony. Beyond any question of who are the better bowlers, why take away the guys who have done all the hard work & dominated for large portions of the 1st 2 tests? Then replace them with (2/3) inexperienced guys who have no psychological sway over the opposition (but lots of self-doubt)? Stupid. This is the stuff science cannot measure. Don't think we'll see SA resting all their quicks anytime too soon.

Posted by jonesy.2 on (December 3, 2012, 13:13 GMT)

were did it all go wrong we played well in the first 2 tests maybe abit lucky due to the SA injuries helping. but what happened to us in perth. utterly useless in all but the 1st 4 hours of that test. what next well for a start i would change the batting order making 11 bat 1 you get my drift. all joking aside we have gone back 18 month with this result. we could have overtaken the poms but with them showing great spirit in india and looking the better side by the time the ashes come about i fear we will struggle just the same as we have done here and as much as i hate to say it the poms will smash us.

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (December 3, 2012, 13:13 GMT)

Hate to say it but Punter played for 2-3 years longer then he should have due to financial reasons, and as a result he denied opportunity to youngsters such as Hughes who would have done better then what he did in the last 2 years.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 13:08 GMT)

I dont really get the saffer people commenting that australia prepared flat decks because they were scared of the SA attack. Traditionally, the first test in brisbane is batting friendly, and what usually follows is the second test, played in either hobart or adelaide, and adelaide is always batting friendly. If Australia were really fearful, and scared, Perth wouldnt of even been an option, so stop talking absolute garbage. Perth had a phase where it became more batting friendly, but the curators have tried to get something closer to a tradtional bouncy pitch in the last couple years. Australia have big issues with their batting, Clarkes 2 double hundreds masked the issues in the first 2 tests, South Africa with that kind of attack gave up in the first 2 tests after making decent starts. South Africa deserve the #1, but they are far from unbeatable, and Graeme Smith really needs to disguise that pathetic body language when things dont go his way because he drags the team down.

Posted by Selassie-I on (December 3, 2012, 13:08 GMT)

Well done to the proteas. Don't think I would have forgiven them for beating us and then going and bowling as badly as they did in the first two tests, but they stepped up a gear when it really mattered.

Well, the Aussies have been going on about all these young fast bowlers that they have in droves, apparrently these fast bowlers aren't up to scratch. all i can say is BRING ON THE ASHES! although it's a shame I wont get one last chance to see punter live!

Posted by Marcio on (December 3, 2012, 13:01 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa, making personal attacks and mocking other posters again and again is hardly being a good winner. You obviously haven't bothered to read any but a tiny fraction of the posts I make here, most of which are polite and well considered. I backed all my posts with references to facts and figures, not by trying to belittle or shame others. So I said AUS were the better team in the first two tests and would have won the second easily if Pattinson had not broken down - and then said it would make no difference for the last test, which would start from scratch. Was that really such a threatening observation to you? That you took that personally has nothing to do with me.

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (December 3, 2012, 12:57 GMT)

For the Hobart test Bird should be bought in the bowling attack, he is in great form at the moment. Khawaja is the man i think we must get in as he is the best number 3 or 4 around. His batting this year speaks for itself with centuries against some very good attacks on tough decks. But for me the biggest improvement in Khawaja's game has been his fielding and running between the wickets. In the Ryobi games on tv I have seen intend and urgency in his game which was missing last year. Hopefully he continues to improve and work on these aspects which the selectors gave him as we need this young man in the team as he will add stability to our top order.

Posted by bigsafferfan on (December 3, 2012, 12:53 GMT)

well done to the Proteas !! deserved winners .. but the Australians did not disappoint, i was very nervous and excited by this series btwn two great teams. farewell to Ricky ! one of the best! cannot wait for the next one !

Posted by aby_prasad on (December 3, 2012, 12:51 GMT)

i dont care if south africa won or for that matter whoever including if india won or england win. Cos today is meant for punter and for me thats what matters. Ricky Ponting, cant believe uve called it a day. loved to fight with your antics, ur fierce competitive spirit was hated by opposition including me when it was india , and i mean before last year when india was actually something in test cricket! But now when you say adios, cant believe i miss you and that we dravid fans loved u too. Its true, only when you lose your eyes do u know how much u loved it! i never knew it! emotional and hearty applause to you, the worlds most successful winning batsman EVER! seems like dravid's elder brother is retiring :( . miss both of you

Posted by Jester01 on (December 3, 2012, 12:50 GMT)

I'm extremely proud of the Proteas. We can still improve in a few departments (spin & bench strength) which now should be look at by the management. Everybody played their part, just missed JP but Faf really stepped up. I see this team posting a lot of BIG totals in the future. Our batting looks absolutely rock solid, with JP still to return. Amla is just getting better and better… Robbie bowled well and it was good to see AB making some runs. Gary Kirsten truly is the best coach - Next big challenge for us is to tame the Pakistani bowlers. Well to the Australians you had us on the ropes but couldn't capitalize. I must say Australia's batting looks very fragile against the swinging ball - Their bowlers are good but as a UNIT they can't build pressure. I wish them well against England in the next Ashes. Farewell also to Ricky Ponting - A true GEM of a player.

Posted by No_1_again on (December 3, 2012, 12:48 GMT)

First congratulations to SA for hanging on to their #1 spot. But I am glad as an Aussie that we played an entreating lost, not afraid to play shots like other team.

Posted by philvic on (December 3, 2012, 12:48 GMT)

One name which hasnt come up is Gary Kirsten - talk about a midas touch! and he keeps such a low profile he doesnt even get a mention. This is typical of the guy- a true unsung hero.

Posted by VinodGupte on (December 3, 2012, 12:48 GMT)

SA - a truly deserving # 1. wins in AUS and ENG and leveling series in the sub-continent. IND, on the other hand was never deserving of # 1. it is only right that SA has it and i hope they continue to have the crown for years to come. IND would have never exploded the way they exploded in the third innings of the game. gee, IND even went on to draw an easy win in WI. no no, it has to be SA at the top.

Posted by hycIass on (December 3, 2012, 12:43 GMT)

I had goosebumps when Punter walked out to bat today and felt very sad when he got out as I knew that was the last we were going to see of this legend. Very sad day today to see our last great player go. Agree with Edwards_L and CricHorizon that Khawaja is the best player to replace Punter. Essentially we can't change Warner, Cowan and Watson at the top as they are better against fast bowling then spin. So for the number 4 spot Khawaja seems like the best option, Hughes should be bought into the ODI side first to see how he goes after his new technique but for the test team it has to be Khawaja as he has been scoring on some real green pitches this year.

Posted by mthi4life on (December 3, 2012, 12:41 GMT)

This was a quote from Steyn before the the test match "We want to win the series. We didn't come down to Australia to draw. We've played below what we are capable of but Australia have thrown everything they can at us and they still haven't beaten us. If we can play to what our potential is, I think we will go home 1-nil." That was brave of him but he backed it up in this test match.

Posted by Usmaan21 on (December 3, 2012, 12:39 GMT)

No Doubt, test cricket is the best format and these teams have showed us why. Both Aussies and Proteas have put up an excellent show. Amla and Clarke have been the run making machines as their efforts have been remarkable.

Mr. Smith, your team deserved it. Good Luck with the series ahead.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 12:36 GMT)

@RandyOZ, Aus dominated huh? If that were the case AUS would have won, at least a test if not the series. It's why we have scoring systems. Like any sport, defending is just as important as attacking. Means nothing to "dominate" if you don't win. And if AUS were the better team in Adelaide, why couldn't they bowl out SA? Be a man and admit SA outplayed them. I admitted it each time SA were crushed by AUS until 2006.

Posted by Mayan820 on (December 3, 2012, 12:35 GMT)

"Not really a fair result considering we dominated 2 out of the 3 games." Poor, POOR Randy OZ. The truth is rather that the Proteas have just about been knocked out on at least four occasions during this series, but got up every time and fought on. They were patient, patient, circling the Ausies and exhausting them, looking intently for just the right opportunity to plant the death blow and they found it on day 2, 3 and 4 of the 3rd test. The end result is more than fair. They won this series fair and square. Now your side and the English can knock one another silly for all I care. The Proteas are world test cricket champions, full stop.

Posted by MrMojoRisin on (December 3, 2012, 12:31 GMT)

Congratulations SA, on a well deserved series win. Loved the way the team took injuries/mishaps in their stride and kept going. They had 10 batters in Brissy, after JPD's injury, and were forced to use Rory Kleiveldt as a last minute replacement for Vernon Philander in Adelaide. Admittedly, the Aussies did not have their first choice attack at their disposal in Perth either, but that was mainly due to the bloody minded ness of the SA batters, not freakish events (except for James Pattinson). I say we'll deserved! If you can find a classy spinner, my crystal ball says you've got a couple of years at the top, at the very least........

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 12:25 GMT)

I personally never had very high hopes for Australia against the might of the South Africans, in their present form. Despite all that Australia had stood up and fought well in the first 2 tests and really had the Proteas on the mat. However, the end result is that counts and I would like to Congratulate the Proteas for a well fought and well deserved series win.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (December 3, 2012, 12:24 GMT)

Is there any nicer scene than Dale Steyn firing at one end? I don't think so... it's like Aravinda hitting a hook for Bret Lee...

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (December 3, 2012, 12:21 GMT)

A very good victory on what was a trenchant occasion for Australia with Ponting retiring. It did prove that you need more than overoptimism to win these games. Like a good attack helps. While SA have one when personel get out of bed right, out of two putative seam attacks, Australia barely possess one proper attack, Either injured long term, bland or just plain terrible the standard of their bowling must be a source of concern,happily. Obviously Amla is now a top player,though Kallis still catches the eye as much, and deVilliers is still a great entertainer. They must be glad they played Petersen- he had a really good game after Tahir's suicidal efforts in Adelaide. It is a great pity though this series has to end so soon.

Posted by pat_one_back on (December 3, 2012, 12:20 GMT)

Full credit to SA on a powerful No 1 performance, Aust have certainly done themselves no dishonour after winning a lot of cricket over 13 days. With Punter graciously moving on, the final stage of the healing can begin. Khawaja in to 3, Watson 4. While we're at it Hughes in for Cowan, he's got far more natural talent and will find a way past his youthful weaknesses. Bowling is fine if folk could just stay fit for a few back to back series, Siddle Pattinson & Cummins will eventually all be fit & they'll be formidable.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (December 3, 2012, 12:19 GMT)

Congratulations South Africa... AB and the team, you proved that you are the strongest team in the world!!! Wish you all the best... from a Sri Lankan fan... :)

Posted by crashed on (December 3, 2012, 12:19 GMT)

@surlycynic or that they were ahead after day one with 33/2 score in the last test :)

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 12:18 GMT)

Australia still havent replaced McGrath and until that happens they wont be number 1. McGrath was a very prolific wicket taker but with a simple action and who hardly ever broke down. Steyn has a great action, is a wiry build and is very accurate. His groupings are also very tght. James Pattinson is great but is action is very physically intensive and could spend considerable time on the sidelines as a consequence. Starc looks like he could develop into an ideal first change bowler in the style of Morkel. Needs a bit more pace and more accuracy with his bouncers. Until Australia can find a prolific wicket taking new ball bowler with an easy action; they will struggle to bowl out sides consistently!

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 12:17 GMT)

well done south africa test cricket at its best SA deserves to be the no 1 i believe many neutral fans are celebrating across the world today

Posted by daager on (December 3, 2012, 12:17 GMT)

Very proud, well done SA! I do feel though that without Faf it would have been drawn, and the hammering Aus took in the 3rd didnt reflect their good play in the first 2, there is not that much between the two sides at full strength, especially with Pat Cummins and Pattinson. All the best to Ricky Ponting as well, he wasnt my favourite bloke, but partly because he was so bloody good. I thought our sportsmanship was exemplary, and fitting for a true great of the game.

As for the proteas, what a magnificent year with some seriously good test cricket wins away from home. That third test vs england was a cracker. Really hard team to put down, they have made us so so stoked. Time to drink some well earned beer!

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 12:17 GMT)

Bear in mind, it only seemed close, while Australia was operating at 100%, SA was only operating at 50% for the first 2 test. In the final test where SA played close to 100% the results are there for the world to see..

Posted by rafaelrey on (December 3, 2012, 12:15 GMT)

England lost to South Africa at home and whilst SA played brilliant cricket I don t think England were in the best frame of mind mentally after a poor winter and Pietersen gate. Australia are a mediocre side that SA have found tough going when England crushed them in all but one test, Clarke is batting out of his skin but his form can t hold and the rest are poor or near retirement ( Hussey). Some decent young bolwers but nothing special. If England can win in India and get some confidence in the sub continent I can see them being back at number 1 shortly given the depth of talent and the age of the side.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 3, 2012, 12:12 GMT)

On teams moving forward I think Aussie has a few things to think about particulaly in the batting lineup. I dont think watson should bat 3 and clarke needs to bat lower too. On the SA side Edgar is absolute rubbish and will be swiftly replaced by Duminy on his return. Those calling for king kallis to retire like punto can keep dreaming. Kallis still bowls at 140kph and it very fit. Good contributions this series too. All hail king kallis and lord Hashim. All hail! !!

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 12:11 GMT)

One could argue Australia played the better cricket during the first 2 Tests. RSA are ranked #1 because, despite that, they won the Series. Smash & grab. Awesome job.

Posted by floorwalker007 on (December 3, 2012, 12:09 GMT)

Unbelievable! Some are still questioning SA's number one spot.

The first test was poor, admittedly. The second though was like going into a sword fight with your good arm cut off (losing two world class bowlers from our attack). Showing the Proteas deserved 1st spot to even walk away with a draw with half a bowling attack. The final test showing the quality of our bowling attack with Kallis still not bowling.

I beg of anyone here to name a bowling attack currently playing that can come out and from ball one be on the spot. Swing and seam movement, line and length keeping the batsmen under severe pressure.

To back that up the SA batsmen stepped up in the second innings to show true class.

Hands down the best team in world cricket currently and to think otherwise is to ignore the fact that SA are getting all the basics right in all areas of the game, with the exception being that we still keep Smith as captain :S

The team has a good average age and will be dominating for a few years

Posted by Ozzy505 on (December 3, 2012, 12:01 GMT)

Congrats to the Proteas - Australia's lack of application today was disappointing. If they could have just applied themselves for at least 2 sessions, they could have cashed in the final session when the SA bowlers would have been tired. That was the strategy SA used 4 years ago when they chased down 414 - on the 4th eve Kallis tore into the Aussie attack & significantly reduced the target. But to be totally honest, Aus doesn't deserve no.1 as yet, but they gonna need to acquire fighting skills for when the going gets tough!

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 3, 2012, 12:01 GMT)

Congratulations to SA, who are well deserving of the #1 ranking at the moment. I'm still not sure that it won't change hands a few times over the next few years but noone can genuinely claim to be playing better cricket than SA right now. Australia did crumble in the end, as many predicted they might after having worked so hard for no result in Adelaide, but they can take some positives from this series too. Despite what some trolls may say, they come out of this series smelling better than England did after theirs against SA. I still think that England could have drawn or even won that series if their fielding was up to scratch and Australia could have scored a win or two with a bit of luck, so we could be in for a couple of rather competitive Ashes series.

Posted by mthi4life on (December 3, 2012, 12:00 GMT)

This is what I predicted,I have never watched a series between these two teams without it being close.Even when Aus use to win 3-0 in the past against us they knew that each win was worthwhile.test matches between these two teams are more interlining than anything on earth.Ricky goodbye,Kallis hope you hang on for a few more years.Those two are the Greats of the Game.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (December 3, 2012, 11:58 GMT)

Most amusing moment of the series was the Aussie press celebrating the victory and #1 ranking after Day 4 in Adelaide when SA still had 6 wickets.

Posted by Loyd4148 on (December 3, 2012, 11:56 GMT)

First of all I would like to extend a message of congratulations to Greame and The Proteas on a series victory down under. You guys continue to make us proud as a nation and we thank you deeply for that. It was hard work throughout the series, and playing against Australia is always a huge challenge, let alone playing on their home grounds. It's a massive effort from the team and there are just rewards, and the guys have shown a mental toughness that symbolizes unity amongst the guys. Hats off to you guys i salute! And then there's Punter :-) Is there any other player that plays the pull shot so effortlessly as Ponting ? Some will say yes and probably appropriate too, but of this modern era, I'll back Ricky any day, the guy is a class act PERIOD! The game will be compromised without Mr. Punter, for he played it with such passion, pride and intent on triumphing every time he was on the field for Australia. We thank you with for your grace in the name of cricket. Hats off to Punter!

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 11:54 GMT)

Ok to the fans ripping south africa, we beat australia after playing pretty badly the first two tests, and still not losing, against an australian team who threw everything at us, the game we actually fired we beat australia by 300 runs. To the england fans saying your coming to get us, i didnt see those young talents and deep reserves really trouble us when we beat you 2-0 in england. To the fans saying we cant play on flat wickets, we havent lost a series in asia for some time, dale steyns best bowling 7-52 comes on a flat indian wicket. South africa only have a few weaknesses, it takes a while for our bowlers to warm in to it, we are missing a quality spinner. When a batsmen who most south africans thought would never play test cricket comes in and scores 289 runs you know we have depth.

Posted by zarasochozarasamjho on (December 3, 2012, 11:52 GMT)

Now that SA has re-confirmed its no. 1 status. And more importantly Peterson has proved to be a very healthy contributor as a very capable SPIN bowler, brilliant fielder, and a capable enough batsman. SA now can remove its ONLY weak link permanantly, which is Imran Tahir. As a Pakistani supporter, it shames me to see yet another Pakistan bowler bowling so many no balls; especially being a slow bowler. Unlike the great spin bowlers currently representing Pakistan, Imran is actually rubbish even when he does not bowl a no ball. I have no sympathy for anyone who does not have a professional approach to his work. Imran has failed miserably.

Posted by risimati_l on (December 3, 2012, 11:50 GMT)

Well done to my beloved team THE PROTEAS for winning a second consecutive series down under which in itself is a major achievement, Australia will remain a tough opponent regardless of who is in their team because they will always produce quality players as they have a good system in place. farewell to Ricky Ponting a men i never really liked because he punished RSA on a number of occassions his a true champion much respect to Ricky you served your nation with flying colours, and an example of what you can archive with discipline Herchelle Gibbs could as well been a true great had he had the discipline Ricky has as Gibbs had all the talent but never realized his full potential, time for everyone is SA to honour Kallis this men is also right up the with the best the has ever been. i will miss waking up at 1am thats for sure

Posted by heathrf1974 on (December 3, 2012, 11:50 GMT)

Well done to SA. They brought their A game after day 1. Similar to England here in the last two test of the last Ashes series. Australia's current ranking is a fair indication of their place in the Test cricketing world.

Posted by PDV1 on (December 3, 2012, 11:45 GMT)

Hammond, is the England team you are so excited about the one that just lost badly at HOME to the Proteas?! Ha, what a difference one Test victory against an average Indian side makes to confidence levels, hey? The only Proteas player that will retire soon is Kallis and there is a lot of talent coming through in SA. The Proteas bowling attack that destroyed England will be around for a while so I wouldn't start celebrating just yet, especially after England's pathetic attempt to hold onto the the number 1 spot. Well played Proteas, worthy number one team!

Posted by drx2009 on (December 3, 2012, 11:43 GMT)

What a great performance by the champion team!! They showed to the world that what they are capable of.It was a complete team performance from the beginning like starting from Faf in 1st innings and then the most invincible bowling attack of all time finally found their rhythm in the decider and crushed the australian lineup with their pace and spin.The australian bowlers had no answer for the blistering start given by the Champion captain smith and the world's no. 3 Amla they took the game completely away from the austraila with the help of the stylist AB who completes his century by hitting 3 fantastic looking reverse sweep to Lyon and scored a fast 169 to take the score to 569 and gave australians a score which is impossible to achieve against the world's no.1 bowling attack and the steyn and co. insure that they will continue their performance from 1st innings and give south africa a another series win over australia in Australia. MANY CONGRATULATIONS TO #1 TEAM FROM SA'S #1 FAN!!!

Posted by RandyOZ on (December 3, 2012, 11:42 GMT)

Not really a fair result considering we dominated 2 out of the 3 games. I suppose it is a good thing though because we still have a lot of passengers in the side so we do not want to get too complacent. These teams really make the battle of the minnows in India look like poor cricket though.

Posted by Swerver on (December 3, 2012, 11:42 GMT)

This series has reminded me of a Rocky film, where the hero has taken a fearful pounding, even had an eight count or two against him, and always seems just one solid blow away from being knocked out cold ...but then, almost unexpectedly (you knows it's coming in the movies) gets a burst of vigor and courage from somewhere, corners and beats the daylights out of the supposedly superior opponent. I'm just waiting for for Graeme Smith to do his "Adriaaannnn!!!" impression and the picture will be complete. Well done SA; a massive reception is waiting for you at ORT International.

Posted by Mervo on (December 3, 2012, 11:41 GMT)

Despite the loss in this Test, Australia had the better of the series and there is not much between these sides. A dropped catch by Wade in test 2 and loss of a days play in Brisbane made all the difference. Sometimes the gods of cricket smile on you and other times they don't ...

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 11:39 GMT)

When Aust had to totally revamp its pace attack you could sense there was trouble - and so it panned out. Our bowlers played like a thrown together attack which has talent and potential but not the experience to sustain pressure. Amla and DeVilliers and co took full toll. On the other hand SA bowlers played like a single professional unit, this time not even their spin bowler let us off the hook. SA are a great bowling attack and they fully deserve their #1 ranking. The batsmen aren't shabby either. Having said all that i am proud of the way the Aussies are playing their cricket under Clark. We really shook SA in the first two games and we have a lot to be proud of - exciting days ahead!

Posted by Sanjiyan on (December 3, 2012, 11:36 GMT)

@Hammond, you mean the same England side that lost the nr1 ranking to SA not so long ago? The same England side that failed to take more than 2 wickets in a test? SA will be ready and waiting, dont you worry about that. This Match has shown what SA are caoable of when they(finally) show up. The Aussies had me sweating on a number of occasions i admit but its great to see the toughness and never say die attitude from SA. This series has been a fantastic advertisment for test cricket, and it shows that the 20/20 pyjama party is all fun and games, but this is where the essence of cricket lies.

Posted by Waratah07 on (December 3, 2012, 11:32 GMT)

@Hammond and @rednwhitearmy, you are kidding? England were humiliated by SA 0-2 at home a couple of months ago. 7 losses this calendar year and more to come. From what I have seen, I would back Australia in the ashes.

Posted by Starboomber on (December 3, 2012, 11:25 GMT)

Well played SA, I still remember the comments when the team was told to rest after the 1st test. Pity the Aussie's better bowlers had to rest during the test match....

Posted by SamRoy on (December 3, 2012, 11:19 GMT)

Ok, I will say it. World Rankings are meaningless. SA have been the best test team since 2008 ever since they won in Australia and England. They lost at home to Australia in 2009 because of the Durban dilemma and a freak show from Mitchell Johnson and Phil Hughes. They confirmed it by winning again in Australia and England. Even they have been competitive against India in India and did not lose a series in India when India still had its star players and they were going great guns.

Posted by Slysta on (December 3, 2012, 11:15 GMT)

Far too good the South Africans, and you wonder that we would have been #1 if we'd won this Test. In reality, we are nowhere near it. South Africa won the series on their ability to fight hard out of tough corners for the duration - not just Faf on Day 5 in Adelaide, but also the afternoon of Day 3 there to restrict the lead, and the outstanding effort by Kleinveldt the third evening to create pressure from nowhere when we were looking to charge away with the game. Clarke led sparkling responses to early-innings wobbles in Brisbane and Adelaide, but we couldn't hang on in Perth. Wade's dismissal on the second afternoon a big moment in the match, as was our complete inability to do a Kleinveldt on the second evening. And Ponting farewell or not, bitterly disappointed by the lack of fight today. SA only had 4 bowlers on a good pitch, should have been a really long hard hot day for them, but they strolled to victory. Aus bats #3 and #4 only 76 runs in 10 completed innings - unacceptable!

Posted by ozwriter on (December 3, 2012, 11:13 GMT)

looking forward to sri lanka. khawaja slots into 4. all the experts think he should be in and in my humble opinion he is undoubtedly the best talent in sheffield shield atm.

Posted by Kulaputra on (December 3, 2012, 11:12 GMT)

The great escape of the first two tests and now this. Bouncy wickets and SA bowlers will come with a 20 wicket in 3 days warranty. On other wickets, no. Build batting strips Australia to take away SA's edge

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 11:10 GMT)

Hats off to Kirsten and SA.Gary Kirsten has taken two different teams ( first it was India under him and now SA) to world number one rankings in short span. SA no more choker under Gary.

Posted by Wallaroo on (December 3, 2012, 11:09 GMT)

@Meety, I agree with you mate. All the Warner bashers need to start doing some proper analysis before they call for his head. His averages are good, with some time he will settle into the opener role a lot better. Yeah he made some mistakes and his last 2 were disappointing, he'll learn from this and improve.

Honestly we too impatient at times and don't give ourselves enough time to "become" whatever our potential is.

Time to give Khwaja a go, he's got the talent now he needs the opportunity and experience to mould that talent effectively.

Posted by Nuxxy on (December 3, 2012, 11:05 GMT)

Thanks to all the Aussie supporters for being so sporting through your loss (of Ponting). Well done by the Proteas. They are not up to the status of champion teams past because they still have some weak links, but they showed a strength of mind that really shone through. That is Gary Kirsten's specialty, and you can see it missing from the Indians since he left.

Posted by Hammond on (December 3, 2012, 11:03 GMT)

I wouldn't be sure of your number one status South Africa, a very, very good England side is out for revenge, and is just behind you. Unlike your team, their oldest player is just 33 years old, with most of the rest of the team in their 20's. They haven't hit their peak yet, and seem to have better reserves than the rest of world cricket. Watch this space, England will be number one again very shortly.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (December 3, 2012, 10:52 GMT)

Simply waaaaay to good, enough said. In all honesty South Africa do deserve the number 1 ranking..but Captain Cook is coming.

Posted by Beertjie on (December 3, 2012, 10:51 GMT)

Although many will be puzzled by your posts, I can identify with this one @Hammond on (December 03 2012, 09:55 AM GMT) Thought about it, can't do it. Ponting may be gone, and I may be Australian, but the damage has already been done. England forever. My own version: Thought about it, can't do it. Amla may be here, and I may be South African, but the damage has already been done. Australia forever.

Posted by Rabbito on (December 3, 2012, 10:49 GMT)

Not bad SA!!...good win, ive got to admit you deserved to win...just ridiculus that it was only 3 tests, looking forward to some more brillian cricket in a few years....(with SA as the underdogs this time!!) Pity Ricky didn't go out with a bang...but i guess thats been his career - give or take no quarter....and just thinking about it...if thats what its like when Ponting retires...(cause there is a few that don't like him unfortunatly)...whats it gunna be like when Huss retires?? there anyone in the world that doesn't like the guy???....methinks its gunna be terrible!!! so well done to smith & Co....still - enjoyed watching starc and lyon belt yous around for a few!!...hitting them like a dream!!...nearly had yous!!!....good prospect is starc...

Posted by crashed on (December 3, 2012, 10:46 GMT)

Those that say South Africa only wins against average teams ...... if you call this Australian team average - next time please select the best you have - i would hate South Africa playing and beating just average teams .....

Posted by Percy_Fender on (December 3, 2012, 10:45 GMT)

Australia appeared to be actually competing in the first two tests because of the batting runways that played the role of pitches at Brisbane and Adelaide. That was the only way this monstrous attack of the South Africans could be stopped. When a normal Perth wicket came along Steyn and co came into their own. I felt sad that Clark lost for the first time. But in the end the high expectations were worth it. Even if the first 2 tests were a bit anti climatic the result was not so bad for Australia.

Posted by eyballfallenout on (December 3, 2012, 10:44 GMT)

Also, thank you to the S.A supporters on this forum, your comments where great to read and for a change it was about the cricket being played with some banta but all good, it was very refreshing. I almost gave up reading the forums last year.

Posted by Pablo123 on (December 3, 2012, 10:39 GMT)

Stunning cricket by SA. They seemed to be soaking up all the punches by AUS in the last few weeks. Then decided to show up and play a bit - and how they played, well, if it wasn't for a wagging tail by AUS, they could bearly have won this test by 400. Deserved no.1 side in World Cricket now. Hats off to Ricky on a marvellous career.

Posted by eyballfallenout on (December 3, 2012, 10:38 GMT)

wow, what a series, S.A came here and fought hard the whole way, we had chances to put them away and couldn't...not through lack of trying. Hats of to you S.A. I have personally enjoyed the cricket very much and i have to say, have really enjoyed S.A being here. Their guard of honor for Ponting was true sportsmanship. S.A are worthy winners and world champions. Cant wait for next time. Congratulations S.A.....

Posted by morriarty on (December 3, 2012, 10:34 GMT)

pathetic !

Extreme disappointment with having a third string bowling outfit get annialated in the sa second innings.

It gave Australia no hope and it was a formality

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (December 3, 2012, 10:31 GMT)

@satish619chandar agree with you mate, I would get Khawaja in for Punter for the Hobart test. They did a survey with Taylor, Waugh and Chappell and all 3 put Khawaja in their sides and i hope the selectors reward him for his consistent form. Given we are talking about the number 4 spot or 3, then Khawaja is the best choice for that position and best young batsman in the country. For me the biggest improvement in Khawaja's game has been his fielding and running between the wickets. In the Ryobi games I have seen intend and urgency in his game which was missing last year. Hopefully he continues to improve and work on these aspects which the selectors gave him as we need this young man in the team as he will add stability to our top order.

Posted by edgie on (December 3, 2012, 10:28 GMT)

@dogcatcher, yeah, lots of negaitves too for the Aussies. Lyon is average as they come, Hilfenhaus really is not test material, and Warner needs to access conditions before bludgeoning away. Siddle was a true workhorse, but didn't have any support in the second test, Clarke is a future great, but Hussey does not have many years ahead, time to think of a new no 4/5 for the Aussies. Starc is young and has potential and so does Pattingson. They however should take a page out of the Proteas bowlers handbook. Well done to the proteas, u will obviously have your detractors, but the 1-0 series win does not lie.

Posted by DeekshaSpeaks on (December 3, 2012, 10:28 GMT)

What a scintillating series this has been. South Africa were the deserved winners; thought at most times Australia looked the better team. They showed the mettle and the grit that is required of the number one team and the ability to bounce back and show their worth against touch opposition, something that India and England simply never managed. Faf du Plessis' effort to save the Adelaide test was stellar, and it was good see Steyn and Morkel breathing fire again at the WACA. They're not a team that contributes to their own defeats in any way; they have to be beaten fair and square by the opposition. Congratulations SA!

Posted by BG4cricket on (December 3, 2012, 10:27 GMT)

I am tremendously disappointed with the lack if application and fight we showed today but full credit to the Proteas who brought it all together for this test and stoic up when it counted against an opponent that fought very hard and certainly matched of bettered them for much of the series. With this in mind Faf would have been my player of the series - his batting in Adelaide stopped SA going 1-0 down and then got his team to a respectable first innings total without which the whole momentum of the match could have been very different. Many have mentioned the SA bowlers and I think it is true they were key however I think it is not that they were better just they could field their first string attack more consistently.

Posted by StaalBurgher on (December 3, 2012, 10:27 GMT)

As a Saffer I wouldn't make any predictions for 4 years from now. Right now we have 4 world class batsman (Smith, Amla, Kallis and AB) and 3 world class bowlers (Steyn, Morkel, Philander) with the other 4 players being very competent. 4 years from now Kallis, Smith and Steyn will likely be gone. It will all depend on how we replace those key players. Our current squad will last maybe another 2 years and after that it becomes difficult to predict how new players will emerge.

Posted by thalalara on (December 3, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

Well done SA...lucky enough to play a decider without the best bowling attack from Aussies.

Posted by almeda_riddle on (December 3, 2012, 10:20 GMT)

Congrats to both teams on a great series, hopefully can recover some lost sleep now. Also, kudos to (most) Aussie fans for their sportsmanship & unbiased views. Not often I can read these forums without the veins in my temples exploding but this series was an exception.

Posted by AllInFairNess on (December 3, 2012, 10:18 GMT)

All the home teams lost in the last few days IND,SL,BAN,AUS quite bizzare

Posted by JoieDeVivre on (December 3, 2012, 10:14 GMT)

Deserve the No 1 ranking SAF, they may have under performed or Aussies didn't allow them to perform in the first 2 Tests but truly good teams just don't give up and keep fighting like SAF did, proves again SAF are easily the best at the moment. As much I love SAF it must be a slight worry to them as the bowling after these 3 lacks depth, may be Marchant De Lange is good but clearly it's not visible (may be I can't see since I don't follow their domestic teams as much). But this is the time to rejoice, they just look like a well oiled machine and at the moment I can't see any team coming even close to them at least for next couple of years.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 10:12 GMT)

This was Foreman v Ali, Rumble in the Jungle. Australia had us against the ropes round after round staring obvious points victory, we absorbed the pressure and wore Australia down before a later round flurry had Australia on the canvas staring up at the lights while the 10-count was coming down.

First time in the series we seized initiative and the effect was like taking a hammer and chisel to a glass pane, Australia cracked and could not recover. The series was summed up by Michael Clarke running down the track getting stumped when the commonsense in him would have been to Faf around. The pressure was all to much for Australia and at the end of this series the better team won, we are standing while our challengers lay prone for the 10 count.

Posted by LPowell on (December 3, 2012, 10:11 GMT)

Classy performance. Well played gents!

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 10:10 GMT)

AS a fan of SA, I was always tensed about SA against AUS. AUS vs SA shows the exact class of world cricket as well as how it should be played. In WACA, AUS unpredictably failed to play according to their potential or It could have been a much more competitive series than the way it ended. Ricky !! I am glad I am free from your threat forever but you know at times without enemy the war feel meaningless ;)

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 10:10 GMT)

After we were told the South Africans were useless for saving the last test by some commenting here, without aggressively trying to chase down a near-impossible target, you have to wonder what the Australians thought they were doing. True, the only way they could overturn SA's #1 ranking was to win, but trying to score fast without taking time to suss the conditions is just plain stupid -- not when you have 2 days left to play.

Posted by dogcatcher on (December 3, 2012, 10:09 GMT)

Great series! Could quite easily have been a draw & should have been 5 matches. Well done to Faf for saving SA twice! Kirsten needs to re-think this slow entry as SA looked the undercooked version for way too long before playing some decent cricket. That said the old firm of Philander, Steyn and Morkel came good & so too did the journey man - Petersen (poor Tahir low on confidence).One could be highly critical & question the inclusion Elgar - surely a seamer or Kleinveld would have been a more useful inclusion.For Australian batting still looks brittle after the calossals that are Clarke and Hussey. Watson though an average game,is class. Cowen looks a good fighter & Warner like Sehwag (great and infuriating all in one)The pot looks very full in terms of Australian fast bowlers though they still need to rack up some milage.Ponting like the great player he is,knew when to go & it is unfortunate his departure was not good. Thanks Ricky for the entertainment. Over to Marcio now .......

Posted by sanman12 on (December 3, 2012, 10:07 GMT)

Australia knowing the bowling line up they were going to face prepared dead bat wickets. Why didnt they prepare fairere wickets for the first two tests then we could have seen whether the scoreline could have been 3 - 0 or not. The fact of the matter is SA came saw and conquered the aussies at home. When the chips were laid down only one winner in site. SA

Posted by crashed on (December 3, 2012, 10:06 GMT)

Well in an earlier posts i had 2 wishes - 1. may the best team wins - seems like Southg Africa is the best team as they won and - 2. may there be no injuries (reason - i did not want any ifs or buts included when the best team win) - hopefully injured pride does not count - so no injuries my wishes came true .... @chris sun - next time if u want the mace to change ownership do not demand it without your team earning it @meety well played m8 sorry we keep the mace @Soujth Africa Congratualations well deserved win on a great test played @Australia sorry guys your best were not good enough - clarke gratz on being man of the series @Ponting - Good show and good luck on your next move forward - maybe you can think of coaching - i am sure you have lots to teach

Posted by Wallaroo on (December 3, 2012, 10:06 GMT)

Congratulations to South Africa on an outstanding finish to a heartbreaking series. You have emphatically confirmed your #1 ranking and deserved so.

Ricky Ponting's guard of honour. What a great gesture by the Proteas, your respect for a great Aussie has in turn won my respect for you.

Looking forward to the next encounter between Aus and RSA, the 2 best teams in the world.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 10:05 GMT)

Kudos to the legendary Ricky Ponting. Surely the end of an era for the Aussies as they continue rebuilding

Posted by MWaqqar on (December 3, 2012, 10:04 GMT)

Now SA is going to remain No 1 for some time. They have sufficient lead at the top and they are likely to win series coming in near future.

Posted by shovwar on (December 3, 2012, 10:02 GMT)

For My Mate MARCIO: ROUND 1: SA start swinging at Aus hitting the body and sometimes in the face. Aus waited for the right time to start swinging and when they did they made SA realise it would be a hard battle. Aus start hitting SA in the face and the Ribs. SA tried to stay in the fight with those short jabs at Aus to prevent them from knocking SA out. SA survived round 1 with minimum damage. ROUND 2: Aus came hard at SA swinging. Hitting the face and the body a complete assault. SA limping and realised there is no way they can swing back hard enough as they were in pain. So SA taking all the hits from Aus but Aus did not have the power to knock SA out. SA showed the stamina to stay on. SA escaped round 2. ROUND 3: AUS KNOCKED OUT. Its shows when SA hits with all their power they are stronger than Aus. But when needed to hold on SA knows how to get by the round just like a champion boxer. SA had the better Stamina and defence but at the same time they had the Stronger KnockOut punch.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (December 3, 2012, 9:59 GMT)

Great series, well played to Aus from an SA supporter. It was very close, Adelaide was so tense it was almost unwatchable. I see some comments from SA supporters responding to earlier AUS press and fan comments - let's not gloat guys. There's no need, just enjoy the accomplishment. Thought the spirit between the sides was competitive but sporting, and AB averaged 55 and kept excellently, why do we need another keeper?

Posted by Sooryan_Indian on (December 3, 2012, 9:58 GMT)

Well done PROteas. Really played like professionals..

Aussies played well too, but they failed to FAF the last match


Posted by Spelele on (December 3, 2012, 9:57 GMT)

I would like to thank Australia for really giving it to SA this series. Their attacking play gave us a lot of sleepless nights here, and really gave the team a wakeup call that they cannot be complacent.

The series: well, I won't get into any ifs and buts analysis. SA thumped Australia when it mattered, and that was enough. From an Aus point of view, I think they'll be hurting. Clarke for me was the biggest disappointment in this match. He showed no willingness whatsoever to tough it out. Brilliant when things go his way on particular types of pitches, but cannon fodder when the pressure is on; really disappointing.

For the above reasons, I think Morkel should have been Man of the Series. I don't think - as Meety has pointed out - it's possible to separate Amla and Clarke. Morkel on the other hand, was simply the best bowler on both sides on very placid pitches (at least in the first two tests).

Brilliant series all-round in spite of the first two poor pitches :)

Posted by Saffacricket on (December 3, 2012, 9:56 GMT)

@Wefinishthis. Thank you for very sporting comments. What a great series. Fantastic playing by both teams. I wonder what would have happened had we not been rained out at the Gaba. Best of luck against Sri Lanka. @Mabless. mate, we are nowhere near the kind of dominance the Aussies or Windies showed. We are deservedly No1 now, but we have to keep it for more than one series. That kind of evaluation can only be made after 4-5 years. And we have to adjust to Kallis' retirement in that time!

Posted by Meety on (December 3, 2012, 9:56 GMT)

@EdwardTLogan on (December 03 2012, 09:20 AM GMT) - geez mate, what's with the Warner bashing? Warner has just averaged 41.2 against the best pace attack in the world & you want to drop him? BTW - Warner's FC average is 48.6 with half of his career in Tests. That IMO, puts him about the best young batsmen we have - + I think he is still improving. You want to drop him just one Test after he got a hundred. I do admit, the way he got out in BOTH innings at Perth was frustrating!

Posted by Soso_killer on (December 3, 2012, 9:56 GMT)

South Africa have shown what a good side they are.

Before the series began i thought SA would win at least 2-0 (obviously i kept that to myself, thank god!), i thought it would be a comfortable walk in the park, boy i was wrong. All credit to Australia this is a reminder of what a passionate nation they are.

The fact that we struggled in the 2nd test and were starring down a barrell makes this victory and the series win sweeter. Dogged when need be, and ruthless when required. We are deservedly world no.1.

Posted by Hammond on (December 3, 2012, 9:55 GMT)

Thought about it, can't do it. Ponting may be gone, and I may be Australian, but the damage has already been done. England forever.

Posted by OneEyedAussie on (December 3, 2012, 9:51 GMT)

Well, I have to say it's been great having the Saffers here - including some very touching moments involving Remembrance Day and Ponting's retirement.

SA clawed their way back after the draw at Adelaide and an average first day in Perth - the mark of a champion side. They were down for much of the series, but never out. The Aussies will rue what could have been after their fantastic efforts in Brisbane and the first four days of Adelaide. They are still lacking that killer instinct which has cost them more than a few victories since 2009.

Posted by ste13 on (December 3, 2012, 9:49 GMT)

Absolutely great win by a great team. I was sceptical before the series - was afraid that Steyn is beyond his peak. Even if this is true, the all-round strengths of this team are undisputable. Du Plessiss played a gem, but how mentally strong they were - it surprised me a lot. They had two escapes in two games - which I believe destructed the confidence of Aus. SA deserve their no. 1 status for now.

Posted by Nerk on (December 3, 2012, 9:48 GMT)

Congratulations to SA. They fully deserved to win this series. They survived the first two tests, batted tremendously to save the second against the odds and finally broke Australia in the third. We aussies cannot be too unhappy. We were beaten by the number one team in the world. We scrapped hard and, had luck swung our way, we would have won the first two test matches. At the very least, we performed batter than England did! Goodbye to Kallis, this is probably the last we shall see of him in Australia. Finally, thank you to Ricky and all the best for the future.

Cant wait till next time!

Posted by replyramdas on (December 3, 2012, 9:47 GMT)

Congrats SA...QED in the end :-)

Posted by SamRoy on (December 3, 2012, 9:47 GMT)

@Meety True but Australia need to get some solid batsman first. Warner is a basher and destroyer on his day which comes once in a series. Cowan is not all that good though he can take the shine of the new ball. Hussey will retire soon (less than 2 years). Watson can't convert fifties into hundreds. Only Michael Clarke. Australia need young proper batsman; at least two of them. Let's see how Khwaja and Doolan play. Australian bowling looks pretty good though with Siddle, Pattinson and Starc (and Hilfenhaus, Ryan Harris and Pat Cummins as reserves). Btw who picked Hastings? Horrible bowler. Worst bowler to debut in Australia since Vinay Kumar. Even Klienvelt had some pace about him even though he didn't look international standard.

Posted by Gaurav_Trehan on (December 3, 2012, 9:47 GMT)

Congratulations to both team which played excellent cricket over three tests. No Pitch fixing, No Behind screen drama. Best team came as Winner & rightly deserved as World#1 team.

This present team of SA is going to stay Number One for longer duration of time. Aussies is in Rebuilding phase. England is any challenger but they are away by Far Margin. There is no hope from India as long they come out of Pitch fix & T20 mood.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 9:47 GMT)

By the way, Smith's 5 catches is the highest in Test cricket in the 4th innings by a non-wicketkeeper! Congrats to Smithy and the South Africans.;filter=advanced;keeper=0;orderby=caught;template=results;type=fielding;view=innings

Posted by VivtheGreatest on (December 3, 2012, 9:45 GMT)

Congrats to SA for a great away win and retaining the number one spot in Tests. Looks like they're gonna hold onto it for quiite sometime. A solid batting lineup from 1 to 6 and incisive bowlers in the right conditions.Just have to win in the subcontinent to show their all-round credentials. As for Aus, its time their fans admitted the fact that the current team is very average in quality. The spin bowling and batting cupboards are really bare and they're gonna struggle to win anything away from home. With all due respect to Du Plessis previous Aussie teams would never have let SA get away with a draw in Adelaide

Posted by TsoroM on (December 3, 2012, 9:44 GMT)

The difference between champion teams and good teams is this; when champion teams have their backs against the wall the do not tumble they hang in there long enough to get a chance for a killer blow and when the chance comes they make it count. The Aussies could have closed the series by winning the 1st two matches and SA hung in there... And when Perth came, they simply put the Aussies away. Well played SA. Proud to be South African!

Posted by UK_Chap on (December 3, 2012, 9:44 GMT)

The test rankings are a Joke, mediocre sides like India made it to number 1 playing all their tests at home, and when they went abroad.... well we all know what happened. Truely great teams play great cricket AWAY from home in the lions den. I am very impressed by S.Africa, two consecutive series wins in Aus. South Africans fans I envy your gutsy team performances, saved the last test match with some real grit and determination. I think that is where the Aussies lost this test match before it was even played, they just could not finish SA off. For me, in the last 10 years without a doubt the best test team has been Aus, with SAF in second place and England third. SA are definitely the best Test side in the world now.Just to finish off, I am not an Aus, SA or Eng fan.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (December 3, 2012, 9:43 GMT)

Congratulations to SOuth Africa - well played. The Aussies played 11 days of good cricket but as soon as we opened the door through that atrocious shot of Warner on Day 2 - they just put the foot down and flogged us. 6 hours later the match and series was lost and there was no coming back. I think the SOuth African supporters gloating you should give some credit to Australia you mention South Africa werent at there best well I think Australia had a lot to do with it. You do look the better side but we took it up to you for sometime and you must also consider that we were missing our 5 best bowlers here in Perth. THe Australians are on the improve and look forward to taking on Sri Lanka.

Posted by ratspeed on (December 3, 2012, 9:42 GMT)

Clarke did not deserve MoS.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 9:41 GMT)

Well done to both teams!!! it was an amazing series and really intense. Why on earth dont these two teams play a 5 match series? SA are deserved winners, yes they were outplayed in most of the series but the scrapped to survive. Something Australia did not do today. At the start of play, even though it was a mammoth total, I said the match wasnt over yet. Oh how i was wrong, Aus showed no desire to win or survive the way SA did. On this flat pitch 600 was possible and starc showed this. So SA deserve to win for their fight to stay alive. Congrats you are truly number 1!

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 9:41 GMT)

Thoroughly enjoyed this series more than India-England... Indian tour is more like a cat-and-mouse game whereas this is one huge battlefor the Gladiator-SAFfers....Hats-off Hashim Amla...

Posted by SunAndSea on (December 3, 2012, 9:41 GMT)

Good performance by the Proteas. They withstood huge pressure and then blitzed the Aussies in Perth. Oh, and that sledging seems to have worked brilliantly on Amla!

Posted by BatsmanWhoBowls on (December 3, 2012, 9:34 GMT)

i think it's safe to say that we need to look no further than mitchell starc in our search for ponting's replacement at number 4

Posted by PhaniBhaskar24 on (December 3, 2012, 9:32 GMT)

Excuse me, is Mr.Clarke stumped..chasing 600 & two days to go...stumped? made two consecutive 200hundreds & lost all? Commonsense hasn't prevailed here...however, best test match one could watch...Fiery Steyn, Composed Amla, faithful Duplesis, entertainng starc...really amazing...SA deserves with 100/100

Posted by mabless on (December 3, 2012, 9:31 GMT)

Is it possible to play all our test matches away from home?! Beating ENG twice in a row at home and doing the same to AUS surely means no one can beat us away right? At home we lose because we put the team under unnecessary pressure beacause we as South Africans are too demanding. All we need now is to get rid of Eldar and Tahir, and when JP to comes back, dare i say, this SA team will be better than the AUS of Mcgrath and the WI of Viv. #SA Best of all times#

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (December 3, 2012, 9:31 GMT)

South Africa have shown that they deserve to be #1 with big away wins in England and Australia. Australia continue to show why they are not ready to be #1 by letting slip winnings positions and failing to finish off opponents. How many Tests and series have slipped away in the last 4 years because they are unable to take their chances and finish off opponents? It's not just been against the strongest sides... even New Zealand slipped away with a Test win and a shared series that they could hardly have believed.

Posted by Wefinishthis on (December 3, 2012, 9:31 GMT)

Congrats to this awesome SA side from an Aussie fan. Thanks for making me lots of money as well, almost exactly as I predicted. Cricket is very predictable when you really understand it. Like the ashes, we lost this series because of our poor bowling. I don't blame our selectors too much this time though because our batting talent is lacking and our best 3 bowlers in Harris, Cummins and Pattinson for Perth were all out injured (mind you Faulkner, Bird and McDermott were all available). Tubby Taylor said it perfectly though - Australia really lack a stump to stump accurate seam bowler like McGrath and Philander to allow a spearhead like Pattinson/Starc etc to attack from the other end. Steyn and Philander were simply awesome as usual with their relentless length and subtle movement. These two will ensure that SA will remain no.1 for the next few years at least. Thankfully though, Kallis will be retiring soon so the rest of the world will at least get a chance.

Posted by gerrardl on (December 3, 2012, 9:30 GMT)

SA just too good. Brilliant performance. Think world cricket finally has a clear number one. SA not lost an away series since 2006! Unbelievable! Hash is simply awesome! Brilliant role model. Fair well Ricky! Great series it's been between 2 top sides.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 9:30 GMT)

Great to see SA win. Well done to the boys. Steyn man of his words as he proved the we have the best bowling attack in the world. Also well done to Hashim, legend in the making!!

Posted by Crowndog on (December 3, 2012, 9:25 GMT)

Congratulations SA on an awesome performance, truly showing why you are number 1. Australia showed some promise throughout the series but seemed to just fall short when it mattered except in this last match where they were just outplayed. Hope to see some better performances in the future from a still building Aussie team. Thanks to both teams for a great series, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Looking forward now to Sri Lanka. Go Aussies!!

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 3, 2012, 9:25 GMT)

300 run victory, thats about as convincing as it gets. To all the Ifs and Buts aussie supporters (marcio) - If you dont bowl out a team in a test match - then how are you 'dominating'..? Preparing a flat wicket and then batting on day 1 and day 2 (Adelaide) is not dominating. Getting ripped out for 163, then getting smacked around the park for 569 and then getting bowled out with a day left IS being dominated....

Awesome performances in this test series by Faff, AB, Amla, Smith and Steyn. SA have now beaten OZ in their own backyard twice in a row. See you in 4 years time to make it 3 out of 3.

Posted by Amol_Ind_SA on (December 3, 2012, 9:24 GMT)

SA 1:0 AUS is not a fair indication of SA's domination. Should have been SA 3:0 AUS if not for those unfairly flat pitches in those first two tests created by AUS board out of fear of SA's bowlers. On the contrary, SA board never feared or stepped back to create bouncy pitches even during those days of AUS dominance when AUS used to beat SA 3:nil.

Posted by Freerider1 on (December 3, 2012, 9:24 GMT)

We now need to sort out our home form. It's been dodgy for a while. A whipping for New Zealand would be much appreciated.

Posted by SagarChordia on (December 3, 2012, 9:24 GMT)

Proteas complete their promise to win Test series in Australia for Mark Boucher

SOUTH Africa's Test stars had made an emotional pledge to win in Australia this summer for fallen wicketkeeper Mark Boucher.

Posted by Nick636 on (December 3, 2012, 9:21 GMT)

And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is the performance of the WORLD'S NUMBER ONE TEAM!!!

People were critical after the first test, Aus threw everything, including the kitchen zink, at a South AFrican team that CLEARLY was not playing well, still didn't beat them, Bowled us out cheaply in the first innings at the WACA, only for the Proteas to bounce back with an "Everything-You-Can-Do-I-Can-Do-Better" approach, and DOMINATE the 3rd test.

Well played boys.

Farewell Ricky, thanks for years of entertainment.

Posted by MrKricket on (December 3, 2012, 9:21 GMT)

The game was already being lost when SA held on to post 225 after being 6-75. Why did they have no idea against Faf? Once Amla got away on the second afternoon after the batting debacle it was game over. SA have the look of the Windies when they used to stumble a bit but never lost a series, always pulling off a win to draw the series (81-82 vs Aus) or win it (92-93 vs Aus) and many other examples. I don't think SA has the depth but what they've got is good enough. To all Aussies who got sick of winning under Taylor, Waugh and early Ponting, what would you give for those teams again?

Posted by on (December 3, 2012, 9:21 GMT)

Aus threw everything they had, SA like an experienced boxer hung on and then Steyn's war cry just brought all team together to shift a gear and they won...

I think after Waqar Younis, Steyn is the only bowler who excites and makes you shout.... His passion and aggression is amazing..

Posted by EdwardTLogan on (December 3, 2012, 9:20 GMT)

We're here sanman12. Is it football season yet?

Seriously, we were outplayed in all facets of this match, with the exception of Elgar's performance at the crease. The National Selection Panel and Inverarity in particular have to cop some of the blame for the loss - it is clear their policy is not working now and is unlikley to work in the future. Selecting players on the basis of T20 form (Warner anyone) is ridiculous. First class form should be the measuring stick, not pyjama cricket. Warner should count himself extremely lucky if he is selected for Hobart, I would prefer a real opener who knows how to craft an innings and who understands that if you are 2 down for not many perhaps trying to shtoomp the first ball of the day off the best bowler in the world to the boundary is perhaps not the best option. My top six for Hobart would be Cowan, Khawaja, Clarke, Bailey, Hussey and Watson.

Posted by WheresTheEmpire on (December 3, 2012, 9:13 GMT)

Congratulations to both teams for a great series. No pitch fixing, no threats to go home when things become tough just hard test cricket played between two sides with uncompromising competitiveness, passion and skill. The best cricket on the planet! I have enjoyed every minute of it. It is time for CSA and CA to wake up and make these SA-Aus series 5 matches long and the equal of or better than the Ashes. It is also time for Usman and Hughes to make some history of their own and fill the gap left by the colosssus Ponting.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 9:13 GMT)

ozzzie if u had prepared wickets with a lot seam from first test, you would have been soundly beaten in this series

Posted by Harmony111 on (December 3, 2012, 9:12 GMT)

Wow, SA have now won in Eng twice and twice in Auss. They have won there as not #1 and they have won there as #1. Def they have been a very strong team of late and have done much better than India or Eng's #1 tenure. However, cos they dont have a spinner how would they fare in Asia? Someone might say they have done well in the past in Asia too but I am merely raising a question of resources here, not doubting their talent. Perhaps SA are going to win everywhere they go with this team. They managed to survive in the 2nd test and scored a pile of runs in the 2nd innings in Perth to make it clear who were the number ones....Congrats SA and Farewell Ricky. You are a model of what a human can achieve when he puts his mind to it. I take personal inspiration from it. You could have retired after the 4-0 win against India but you chose to hang on for the Ashes 13 but it was clear your time was up some time back. Hope you a fine after life.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 9:11 GMT)

Fact aus dominated the first two test and did not win. SA dominated 3rd test and showed why they are no.1 and with a huge margin. To those who say that SA will not be on top for a long time i would like to ask who else is capeble of beating SA at home? And away SA's record are very good.

Posted by ian45 on (December 3, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

well played boys, stunning victory, bring the mace home. PURE PROTEAS :)

Posted by Meety on (December 3, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

Congratulations Sth Africa, took alot of punches over the first 2 Tests & dished it back nicely in the 3rd. IMO - Morne Morkel was the player of the series, just ahead of Pup & Amla. I give to Morkel as he was the only Saffa bowler of any menace over the first 2 Tests, & was good in the 3rd. No bowler on either side was as good as Morkel, whereas IMO it is hard to split Clarke & Amla. Enjoy it while you can Saffa fans, Oz will have that pesky #1 slot soon enuff!

Posted by Aussasinator on (December 3, 2012, 9:05 GMT)

Well done South Africa. They really tired out the Aussies in two Tests and moved in ruthlessly in the test that mattered. This will be a psychologicl blow for the Aussies who are nurturing desires of claiming the No. 1 spot. SA and England are simply too good for them even in their homeyard. As for life after Ponting, not to worry - it will shine very soon. A new pivotal batsman, denied his chance for years will break through. Anyone can do better than what Ponting has been doing for the past 5 years.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (December 3, 2012, 9:04 GMT)

Well done SA! Top performance all round. Sorry for Punter... just wasn't to be. Hopefully now Aus. will realise the futility of sticking with Warner, and I'm guessing Khawaja will take Ponting's spot?

Posted by WHAB on (December 3, 2012, 9:02 GMT)

South Africa are an unreal side. Loaded up with great players. We matched them pretty well, but Perth showed the gulf that really exists. I thought the Aussies played pretty in Adelaide. Not sure about Brisbane. We finished marginally in front, but I reckon the lost day to rain probably hurt the Saffas more. Anyway, well done Sth Africa. Not just there play, but their sportsmanships was 100%. A great team that play with great spirit.. Good series for Australia to play to get them used to great pace attacks with the Ashes looming.

Posted by DamnStraight on (December 3, 2012, 9:00 GMT)

An amazing peformance by the boys! SA cricket from strength to strength. Grit when we needed it and domination when it was required. Total all round solid showing. Proudly SA! Now maybe time for some silverware?

Posted by Rob_Sydney on (December 3, 2012, 9:00 GMT)

Too good SAffers, two half wins do not equal a complete thumping victory. Onward and upward team Aus, close but not close enough.

Posted by missionbegins2011 on (December 3, 2012, 8:51 GMT)

SA is the best side in the world. Beating AUS on their own soil and capturing the series as well. Well done...

Posted by disco_bob on (December 3, 2012, 8:51 GMT)

Now for all those who have been calling for the head of Ponting over the last 2 years, let's see how easy it is to fill the slot.

Posted by raghavan88 on (December 3, 2012, 8:40 GMT)

A total domination by SA.Aus 4-0 win against our ageing and out of form Indian Team was just a flash in the pan.Hope they get back some sense.Players like Coulternile,Butterworth,Cutting and Bird deserve a nod,as does Khwaja.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 8:16 GMT)

To that ausie that said that australia were going to win this series 3 nill when we were beating the English, you should ask yourself, do I know cricket? This is a game where you cannot for sure say that you are going to win.

Last year we played a club game where we were only 40 runs ahead and with only 4 wickets left. We scored the runs and were bowled out with a lead of 230, And gues what we won the match easily. Thats why i like this game. It's unpredictable most of the time.

Posted by Basil777 on (December 3, 2012, 8:12 GMT)

SA; best batting; best bowling; best in the world well done the No. 1 team showed-up in this test!

Posted by Soso_killer on (December 3, 2012, 8:12 GMT)

Victory is imminent, fare well Punter

Posted by mrmonty on (December 3, 2012, 8:10 GMT)

Little bit a in the pitch and the SAffers showed what a gifted bowling unit they are. Conversely, Michael (Bradman) Clarke got found out.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 7:49 GMT)

Mr. Inverity. Your "Fresh" legs policy and "workload" management strategy has been hit by SA out of sight. Its Time for some common sense to prevail over fancy ideas.

Posted by Ides on (December 3, 2012, 7:46 GMT)

This victory is sweet. proud to be a South African.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 7:44 GMT)

End of a ruthless, dominating, but a legendary career. King of controversies, comments (on ground) lifts down his cricket career this morning after striking with 02 beautiful boundaries, saluted his fans all around and says 'good bye' forever.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 7:38 GMT)

Well SA had no double centuries. They didn't dominate the 2 previous matches, but when it mattered, they dominated with bat and ball.

Posted by disco_bob on (December 3, 2012, 7:36 GMT)

An emphatic finish by SA to an unusual series. In the end the SA victory was well deserved, but they do not look like they are in for a long run at the top. Australia still has some way to go. The B2B Ashes series will be fascinating.

Posted by sanman12 on (December 3, 2012, 7:32 GMT)

nary an aussie comment. woner why

Posted by SurlyCynic on (December 3, 2012, 7:26 GMT)

Amazing bowling performance on a flat track where SA just scored high 500s. This is how you close off a test match, take note all who said Aus 'dominated' SA and 'deserved' to win in Adelaide.

Posted by yankinsa on (December 3, 2012, 7:24 GMT)

Smith the Captain-killer is at it again....How many current or ex- Test captain has Smith seen off in recent years? Sad that Ponting, a great servant of Aussie cricket, had to go out with such a poor series. For his sake, I'd not look forward to the series stats...he probably has the lowest average of both teams ! The SA team have come to the party in a big way, confirming their # 1 status with emphasis and style. Maybe it's time for Aussie to stop being so one-eyed about 5 test deries and refusing to travel away from OZ over Christmas. But then they might lose even more often givien the brittleness of this batting order.....

Posted by satish619chandar on (December 3, 2012, 7:23 GMT)

Who after Punter? Clarke would be a more worried man by now. Warner can crack it on his day but "his days" doesn't come often though. Cowan not yet upto the mark though he can play our the new ball. if Warner fails, he should continue but he usually gets out after settled. Watson not yet settled with a role. Clarke is magnificent, Hussey is very good, Wade/Haddin is still a debate and rest bowlers. Punter will be missed from now but who to replace him? Khawaja deserves a chance as he is the only one who didn't get much chances even if he wasn't the worst. Marsh was the worst followed by North. Can they play Hughes play in middle order? Quiney didn't score much to inspire confidence. The most important thing for Australia till they find out holes in the batting order is, to have a bigger cap - Clarke's form available for the period. If the cap leaks, the can will lose it all. Clarke is the key for Australia atleast for next one year and No retirement for Mr.Cricket.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 3, 2012, 7:20 GMT)

Total annilation. Thats why SA are no.1 . Any more doubters? Has the pitch all of sudden changed from the one Amla and AB smashed the ball to all parts yesterday? What has changed is the bowling and you have to say this is a good bowling attack.

For those of you who have played or know something about sport - a sign of a high quality side is one that still manages to hang in when it plays poorly and then hit back and dominate with it clicks. This comment is directed at Marcio, the perinnel whinger and poor sportsman who still thinks Oz 'deserved' to win this series. I dont think so and the scoreline reflects otherwise too. Cricinfo pls post.

Posted by Adoh on (December 3, 2012, 7:20 GMT)

Like I said the first time when I wasn't published. Pathetic effort by Australia.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 7:19 GMT)

SA playing like the no.1 team....after saving the 1st two test they are on the verge of winning the 3rd...... indians should learn from and try and win the series from here on.....

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 7:19 GMT)

Good bye to one of the world's best test players ever. Now for SA to wrap up the game after tea. Guess that they'll be able to work in a round of golf tomorrow.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 7:17 GMT)

Great test match! Proteas showing why they are number 1. Ricky Ponting, what a legend! Proteas power!!

Posted by Guthers007 on (December 3, 2012, 6:57 GMT)

Massive loss not far away; doh!

Posted by satish619chandar on (December 3, 2012, 6:49 GMT)

So now, Tahir's dream to become SA's No.1 spinner is fading away. he never looked very aggressive bowler and never ever was a defensive one too. Initially i had a opinion that SA should have brought back Harris into tests as he can atleast be very defensive and choke runs at one end and bowl long spells which will allow the pace battery to attack relentlessly from the other end. When i saw robbie bowl to Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed in the T20 WC with lovely flight and beat them to be stumped, i changed my opinion again. This guy should be in the test team. He can attack the batsman with his guile and earn his wickets in a more appropriate manner which exactly happened this test match. Lovely bowling Robbie. Wish the guy continues to make merry next couple of years atleast in longer formats.

Posted by philvic on (December 3, 2012, 6:41 GMT)

Clarke didnt look up for a Fafesque battle to try save test. He was very loose against spinners and paid.

Posted by JustOUT on (December 3, 2012, 5:50 GMT)

Good Bye Ponting!!! You are and always will be a LEGEND!! and what a gesture by Proteas for Ponting. They are the undisputed NO.1 for next few years.

Posted by wanatawu on (December 3, 2012, 5:47 GMT)

Hope they get Clarke and Hussey early this morning cause they can create problems

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 5:27 GMT)

I was hoping at least a 50 from Ponting.But Goob bye we will miss u

Posted by Professori on (December 3, 2012, 5:23 GMT)

Look at the standing ovation for Ponting, and look at the way VVS was chased out of the ground on his retirement. When will India learn to give a decent farewell to its stalwarts?

Posted by aravind077 on (December 3, 2012, 5:19 GMT)

Great batsmen Ricky ponting out for last time.his attitude is good but he batting have class. good bye punter

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 5:10 GMT)

Thanks Ricky Ponting for the wonderful memories... You will be missed, dearly!

Posted by vrn59 on (December 3, 2012, 5:06 GMT)

Salute to Ricky Ponting, one of best batsmen of all time! The last standing cricketer of the great all-conquering Australian era leaves the crease for the final time! This will bring tears to the eyes of cricket fans all over the world.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 5:04 GMT)

Every Good thing comes to end one day........Punter you will be remembered !!

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
Tour Results
Australia v South Africa at Perth - Nov 30-Dec 3, 2012
South Africa won by 309 runs
Australia v South Africa at Adelaide - Nov 22-26, 2012
Match drawn
Australia v South Africa at Brisbane - Nov 9-13, 2012
Match drawn
Australia A v Sth Africans at Sydney - Nov 2-4, 2012
Match drawn
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days
Sponsored Links

Why not you? Read and learn how!