Australia v South Africa, 3rd Test, Perth, 4th day December 3, 2012

Ponting's low, Starc's high

Stats highlights from South Africa's emphatic victory in Perth

South Africa's 1-0 series win has helped them retain the top position in the ICC Test ratings. They have 123 points, while Australia have slipped to 114. Even if England win both the remaining Tests in India, they'll have 119. Here are the stats highlights from South Africa's resounding win.

  • The margin of victory in Perth - 309 runs - is eighth in the list of most comprehensive wins for South Africa, and most comprehensive defeats for Australia (in terms of runs). It's the second-largest margin of victory for South Africa against Australia, after their 323-run win in Port Elizabeth in 1970.

  • The 309-run margin was also the second most comprehensive defeat of Ricky Ponting's Test career (in terms of runs), next only to the 320-run loss to India in 2008. Of the 31 Test defeats in his career, four were by an innings and only three by a margin of more than 200 runs.

  • South Africa have become the first team to win successive Test series in Australia since West Indies won there in 1988-89 and then again in 1992-93. In 40 series that Australia have played at home since the 1988-89 series against West Indies (excluding one-off Tests), they've won 31, drawn four, and lost five - twice each to West Indies and South Africa, and once to England in 2010-11.

  • Not only did Ponting finish with one of the worst defeats of his career, his last series was also a personal low: he scored 32 runs at 6.40; the only series in which he had a poorer average was in India in 2001, when he scored 17 in five innings.

  • Australia's second innings was redeemed only by a spirited half-century from Mitchell Starc, their No. 10 batsman. His unbeaten 68 is the seventh-highest score by an Australian No.10 batsman, and the best since Geoff Lawson's 74 at Lord's in 1989. It's the highest by a No.10 batsman at the WACA. Starc's 68 not out is also the highest by any No.10 batsman against South Africa.

  • Starc is only the 14th Australian player to score at least a half-century and take eight or more wickets in a Test. The two previous such instances were by Mitchell Johnson.

  • Dale Steyn's match haul of 7 for 112 means he has taken 57 wickets in 11 Tests against Australia, his biggest haul against any team. Overall, he has 299 wickets in 60 Tests, and is in line to become the third-fastest to 300 Test wickets (in terms of Tests played).

  • Robin Peterson's match haul of 6 for 171 is only the ninth instance of a spinner taking six or more wickets in a Perth Test.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 4, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    How about Smiffy equaling the most catches in a test innings?

  • Hari on December 4, 2012, 5:59 GMT

    The author has missed out on one interesting statistic. The 87 run stand between Starc and Lyon for the 10th wicket was also the highest partnership for the innings. Not sure how many times this has happened in the past

  • Vikram on December 4, 2012, 4:52 GMT

    Lets not read too much into Starc's bowling performances - true, he got 5 wickets, but he got most of them when South Africa switched to aggressive mode. His batting skills should however give him a promotion up the order. For all of his effort, the following stat takes out the fizz with the player that he is compared to - "Starc is only the 14th Australian player to score at least a half-century and take eight or more wickets in a Test. The two previous such instances were by Mitchell Johnson." That would be like comparing Srinath or Zaheer Khan to Ajit Agarkar.

  • Dummy4 on December 4, 2012, 4:23 GMT

    Aussie selection committee room must be a real land of confusion. Except Clarke, everyone else is either too new (Wade, Warner, Cowan, Starc) or Too old and in line for to follow Ponting (Hussey) or too injured (Cummins, Watson, Pattinson) or too unreliable (Mitchel Johnsoon) or too inconsistent (Hilfenhaus, Siddle) or too out of sorts (Marsh) or too bits and pieces (Christian). Any Aussie eleven at this point would be Clarke+Hussey+Lyon+Warner plus any other 7 and it wouldnt make much of a difference.

  • John on December 4, 2012, 2:02 GMT

    Starc looks like being the most resilient of Australia's three top young fast bowlers and has the added advantage of being a lefty, so I see a long career ahead for him. As an England fan, I'm looking forward to Reece Topley maturing and adding that extra dimension of a left-armer to England's attack. Pattinson, Cummins and Starc could be quite a force for quite a few years if the first two can stay healthy for 5 minutes. They can all bat a bit too so the Australian tail could be shorter than a Manx cat's.

  • Andrew on December 3, 2012, 23:39 GMT

    Starc was certainly a positive for Oz. Good that MJ (whilst not a career highlight match) - showed he is more than capable at Test level.

  • martin on December 3, 2012, 23:21 GMT

    Front-foot-lunge - You speak from experience...your boys were nowhere near as competitive in the series against SA after all the expectation of a settled English team, probably the best you could hope to produce.

  • Warks on December 3, 2012, 22:44 GMT

    Should have played this Test in Hobart - even more appropriate had they known it would be Punter's last. It's back to the drawing board yet again, luckily it's only SL next. Tour of India won't go well though.

  • K on December 3, 2012, 22:15 GMT

    Among tests decided by 300+ runs, this one has a few centurions, of course more bowlers than batsmen! :-)

  • Dummy4 on December 3, 2012, 14:56 GMT

    The Test that tested "Punter" career. Very sad end.

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