South Africa v Australia, 3rd Test, Cape Town, 5th day

Harris bowls Australia to last-gasp win

The Report by Brydon Coverdale

March 5, 2014

Comments: 355 | Text size: A | A

Australia 494 for 7 dec and 303 for 5 dec beat South Africa 287 and 265 (Philander 51*, Harris 4-32, Johnson 3-92) by 245 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Video report - A warrior to send off another

Ryan Harris goes under the knife for knee surgery after this series - he does not know what the future holds. He may play Test cricket again, but at 34 there are no guarantees. Whatever happens, he has delivered one of the great triumphs in Australia's recent Test history, bowling the team to a series victory over South Africa, the world's No.1-ranked side, when it seemed almost inevitable that Graeme Smith would be farewelled by his men with a fighting, fitting draw.

Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn batted together for 75 minutes as Australia sought the two remaining wickets they needed for victory and as the shadows grew longer, the looks on the faces of Michael Clarke and his men became more desperate. With five overs left, Clarke asked Harris for one last effort and he delivered, yorking Steyn first ball and then slipping one past Morne Morkel's bat two balls later to clatter the off stump and deliver a 245-run win, and a 2-1 series success.

Harris finished with 4 for 32 from 24.3 overs, a remarkable achievement for a man who looked spent. At times throughout the day he was hobbling and he pulled up in his delivery stride once late in the day, stretching and checking on his knee as he walked back to his mark again. Mitchell Johnson picked up three wickets but Harris was the man who delivered when it mattered most, including by getting rid of the stonewalling AB de Villiers after lunch.


Ryan Harris celebrates dismissing AB de Villiers, South Africa v Australia, 3rd Test, Cape Town, 5th day, March 5, 2014
Ryan Harris delivered for Michael Clarke on the last day © Getty Images
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For much of the day it seemed that South Africa might just pull off one last draw for Smith. Under his leadership they won a lot but just as notable has been their ability not to lose. Their last series defeat before this was against Australia five years ago. Smith will leave the game having lost only two of his last 27 Test series as captain. That is some sort of record. In the end, his men were unable to keep the Australians out for long enough.

That a day on which only 194 runs were scored in 93.3 overs could be so gripping is encouraging for Test cricket. This day was never going to be about the runs; South Africa could have batted until day seven and not reached their target of 511. It was simply a question of wickets - could Australia claim the six they needed throughout the day. South Africa's ability to bat out a draw in similar circumstances in Adelaide a year and a half ago suggested that it would be tough work.

And as in Adelaide, de Villiers and Faf du Plessis did their best to deny Australia. They came together after the nightwatchman Kyle Abbott frustrated the Australians during a near two-hour innings of defiant defence. At times when he faced Johnson all nine fielders were in catching positions. Eventually he fell for 7 from 89 balls when he shouldered arms to a James Pattinson ball that nipped in and clipped the top of off stump.

De Villiers was laborious but effective for South Africa's purposes, using up 326 minutes and 228 balls for his 43. Harris was the man who got rid of de Villiers, who pushed half-heartedly outside off stump and got a thick edge behind off a ball that nipped away just enough off the seam. It was a vital breakthrough after lunch, although an equally important one came just before tea when Steven Smith struck in the first ball of a new spell, drifting one in and turning it just enough to have du Plessis lbw for 47.

That left four wickets needed in the final session. Worryingly for Clarke, Nathan Lyon was having no impact, just as had been the case in that Adelaide draw. At times he bowled too quick, and like his colleagues, offered up too many balls that the South Africans could leave. The Australians became frazzled and frayed, but Clarke managed to manufacture a wicket by placing a leg slip, Lyon, who pouched a leg glance off Johnson to end JP Duminy's innings on 43.

But Philander and Steyn were not going to fold quickly. Philander was the only South African who really played his shots throughout the final day, but rarely did he create a chance. Even more impressive was that he spent part of the innings battling a painful blow to his hand after an accidental beamer from Pattinson jammed him on the right glove. Another glove-related incident was to come.

Immediately before the final hour began, the Australians won an out decision from Aleem Dar when Johnson banged in a short ball that tickled Philander's thumb on the way to being caught, but Philander asked for a review. The third umpire, Richard Illingworth, felt there was enough evidence that Philander's hand was off the bat at the time when the ball struck his glove and overturned the decision, much to the dismay of the Australians, and things really heated up on the field after that.

Whatever Clarke tried did not seem to work. Philander and Steyn just batted on and on. The bowlers wearied, and sent down ball after ball that could be left alone. Until Clarke asked Harris to finish the job. Two wickets in three balls, both hitting the stumps. An emotional series win for Australia, whose summer ended with seven wins and one loss. A gut-wrenching loss for Smith in his final match.

But mostly, it was a fittingly tight way for the campaign to end. Australia had the better of the series, but South Africa made them earn it. It was not until the last five overs of the last hour of the last day of the last Test of the series that the outcome was determined. And if every Test series was like that, the game would be in pretty good shape.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Webba84 on (March 8, 2014, 14:28 GMT)

@Thozar Heres a bitter fact for you. In Tests SA 1, Aus 2, Ind 3. You obviously support India very passionately, which is fine and admirable but for goodness sake dont claim to be impartial. You arent. None of us are. Impartial people dont post here.

Posted by Meety on (March 8, 2014, 12:55 GMT)

@ thozar on (March 7, 2014, 17:26 GMT) - fine, rack off to another article & I look forward to your informed comments when Oz play India next! So if Bangladesh beat NZ in a test series, then NZ beat India Tests - where does that leave India - one place above Zimbabwe???

Posted by PrasPunter on (March 8, 2014, 6:20 GMT)

@thozar , cricket world revolves around india ? this sort of thinking is exactly the reason why your team is where it currently is. That over-bloated pride is hardly taking you anywhere. Learn to be humble and the game will favor you. Try to dominate at your own peril and it is already showing up. And I concur with Meety, Jaggar and other fans on their opinion about indian fans, except those matured ones like @IndianInnerEdge who are very few in number anyway.

Posted by thozar on (March 7, 2014, 17:26 GMT)

@Meety, I have been an impartial observer and have been commenting on this test series as a cricket fan. It is not my problem if you get offended by me spelling out facts about your dear team and players. Facts can and usually will be bitter. We are not worried if your opinion on us decreases. We are not bothered about what Oz fans think of us. The world does not revolve around Australia. If anything, the cricket world revolves around India.

@Protears, if beating India is not an achievement why were your great team that got thrashed by Oz of all teams at home has been unable to win a test series in India for 14 years now? Even England beat Oz at home and India buried them but your team just lost a series at home to them. That's a shame. You were also unable to beat Pak away. Worry about your own team as they are about to tumble down the rankings. We had some respect for RSA but fans like you spoil it.

Posted by   on (March 7, 2014, 9:27 GMT)

Brilliant Test cricket by 2 absolute resilient teams ...Can't wait for the day BCCI whoops ICC allow these 2 brilliant teams play 5 Test Rubbers !! Speng after seeing McGrath,Warne,Langer Ponting,Hussey etc Retire Sth Africa have the talent to fill the Void somewhat ....AB De Villiers what a champion and look fwd to seeing him have a crack at being Capt. I have a feeling he won't be WctK though ..Faf what a champion gritty Batsmen he is ...

Just a side note ...great to see Test crowds on the up in Australia , England and Sth Africa

Posted by Protears on (March 7, 2014, 7:55 GMT)

@jklawrence, I take it you're an indian fan because only an Indian would actually think that India are relevant in this. We have produced great spinners in our history but not as many as the quality of seamers we produce due to conditions. We have produced match winning quicks that have won games in India and we have had a series win in India when Pat Symcox was the destroyer in chief. India producing match winning bowlers is a bit of a debate really, they lost the battle of spin to England and clearly they can't win anywhere else, including NEW ZEALAND :) oh its funny when Indians make out like everyone else has a problem.

NEWSFLASH beating india is not an achievement. Winning in Australia or England is.

Posted by Meety on (March 7, 2014, 4:55 GMT)

@wonderstar1 on (March 6, 2014, 15:16 GMT) (& Francis) - if Biggus was making the comments he made on an article that was about say India v SL, then he would be out of line. If you read through the numerous articles on this Oz v SA test series, you will see numerous outrageous comments from Indian fans which do tend to crowd out the good neutral comments from Indian fans. Purely based on this website, my opinion of Indian cricket fans decreases with almost every article. Read comments Thozar makes - there are others!

Posted by Jagger on (March 7, 2014, 0:16 GMT)

@wonderstar1 - you don't know when you are beaten. I agree totally with Biggus, Shaggy & dunger.bob. Through this website I am convinced Indians generally have an overinflated opinion of themselves. Your attitude, generally speaking, is beyond belief.

Posted by Wallaroo on (March 6, 2014, 22:45 GMT)

What an enthralling series. So happy that we won against a steely effort from the Saffa tail end. Harris you beauty, one of the most underrated players.

Although we are not quite there (no. 1) we are certainly on the ascendancy and will once again be crowned the kings of cricket.

Seems to me that we love each others back yards. From now on Australia will be playing all it's home games in South Africa.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (March 6, 2014, 21:39 GMT)

TommyTuckerSaffa; I did give you credit for your post in this article. As for the lame comment I disagree there is no accountability for posters that make wildly inaccurate and derogotary posts at the end of the match. If you post something you should be willing to stand by it after the completion of the next game and I posted those, hopefully shaming people so that at the completion of the game they make think before they post. Unlike most of the people I shame, I can see that you can be humble in defeat as well as over the top in victory which is ok. But the rest of them is who I don't have the respect for. If your going to lack respect for me as I try to make people accountable well I will cop that.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (March 6, 2014, 21:39 GMT)

What an ending. Congratulations to Australia on a well deserved win, & to Ryan Harris for his final burst of intelligent, exceptionally well directed bowling. Before the series I picked him as the Aussie bowler I most feared: when it mattered, he showed why.

This puts the stamp on a shift in test cricket that many have observed. Aus hauled themselves back up to the top, & with Smith & Kallis' retirements, the #1 SA team is certainly not what is was, & will need a thorough rebuild. This was a fitting end to Smith's career - a tough series against a credible & competitive team.

Aus & SA have taken a series in each other's back yards & are clearly the leading test teams. Winning away from home is the sign of a great team, & Aus have shown that they are no "home track bullies."

SA & Aus always produce gripping encounters. Truly, only 5 match series could do justice to the enthralling cricket they create for grateful test fans. Long may they do so.

Previously posted. Not published??

Posted by Speng on (March 6, 2014, 18:07 GMT)

Australia deserved the series win I think. South Africa upper order certainly isn't what it was when they whamboozled England. Amla and Smith out of form meant that Australia matched even exceeded South Africa in the batting department and their bowling quality certainly carried over from the England series. Maybe SA are a bit stale after a bunch of short miscellaneous series or maybe they're on the plateau like England were. It'll be a tough ask to make up for the retirements of Smith and Kallis. Amla will have to take on the leadership of their top order and Petersen will have to step up to be his second to help along the two junior guys. On the bowling side, they need a credible 4th or 5th pacer so they can rotate Philander, Steyn, and Morkel and they got to have a proper spinner.

Aus have enough bowling depth to make up for Harris and their batsmen really showed up in this series. I don't know what the rankings say but outside of India I wouldn't want to play them right now.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 17:44 GMT)

The last one hour was real edge of the seat stuff! Even as a neutral I felt the tension and couldn't decide whom I wanted to win. The Aussies were like sharks circling a prey and you could see the steely resolve in the eyes of Philander and Steyn. How I wish other teams embrace this style of cricket and display this intensity and passion laying it all out for that ultimate high experienced in that first moment of victory. In that one moment you could be fooled into thinking that you are on the field of play. Congratulations to the Aussies and wish Harris a speedy and full recovery.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 16:09 GMT)

Biggus. You want to be a grown up? Learn to ignore comments you dont like. I used chill because I thought I could relate to you. If an Indian fan wants to post a comment about Indian cricket thats his folly, who appointed you the moderator? And who asked you for your opinion on Indian fans and their knowledge on cricket? What makes you an expert? Is that something you decided all by yourself?

Posted by Jimmyvida on (March 6, 2014, 16:07 GMT)

Did I read that right, Illingworth 'felt' that the glove was not on the bat. What in the world is that. With all the equipment in his possession, he is feeling and thinking that maybe....

Posted by InfiniteWhite on (March 6, 2014, 15:57 GMT)

Smart stat: the word 'India' has been mentioned 109 times so far in the comments regarding an article titled: Harris bowls Australia to last gasp win SA vs Australia. I think it just shows that Indians are extremely passionate about cricket. No problem with that.

Posted by Jimmyvida on (March 6, 2014, 15:50 GMT)

What a test match! Great to see the big guns go after each other. Well fought SA. Sorry to see Smith go. He was one of the best. You guys made test cricket worth watching and talking about. Congrats to both teams.

Posted by wonderstar1 on (March 6, 2014, 15:16 GMT)

@Francis Mel. Spot on. I agree with you. I don't have any problem if they don't like BCCI or India or Indian fans, but to ridicule it in public article plus blaming everything on the Indians and on top of it acting themselves as angels is crossing over the line. for example @Biggus he is just an hypocrite and nothing else.

Posted by Rukky on (March 6, 2014, 15:13 GMT)

Well, this was one of the most memorable series i had seen ever. Being an indian i want Indian team to learn such a great spirit from both the teams. Australia was always dominating this test, but SA has shown the character as well that why they are still No. 1 in the test side. Thanks for both the teams for giving such awesome pleasure.

Posted by Biggus on (March 6, 2014, 15:11 GMT)

@Francis Mel:-Take some time and read all the comments. I'm far from the only Aussie who's taken offence. Try to understand this because I'll keep it simple. I have no problem with Indians per se, in fact about a third of my cricket team here in Australia are Indians and we get along just fine. Try to understand this bit because it's the really important bit:- We're sick and tired of Indians trying to make EVERY article on cricinfo about them. I suppose at least no one has mentioned Sachin Tendulkar yet. We'll 'chill' (just a tip kid, I don't use 'chill' because I'm not a teenager like yourself) when you guys stop trying to hijack every thread. For God's sake, cricket isn't just about India, ESPECIALLY a report on the recently concluded Capetown test. Now you should be able to grasp that but I've read enough of your posts to know it'll go right over your head. Now why don't you leave and gloat about your mighty victory versus Afghanistan somewhere appropriate.

Posted by wonderstar1 on (March 6, 2014, 14:45 GMT)

posted by Biggus.4) We don't pay all that much attention to Indian fans because they're the most one-eyed and least knowledgeable on the planet. There, I hope that has cleared up some of your misconceptions......

Mr. Biggus I do have a honest question? you're perplexed aren't you?. don't you think you are contradicting yourself when you tell that you don't pay attention to Indian fans, but in reality you gave the answers to most of the Indian fans.If you don't really care what they say why are you bothering to answering them?

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 14:42 GMT)

Biggus. Chill mate. You dont like Indians, thats your problem. Dont make it every one elses. No one has stopped you from discussing 'your game' and btw who died and made you the Pope?

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 14:41 GMT)

Australia's real test would be against india.this time india will beat aus 4-0 in Australia. last tine we lost because our legends dravid,laxman,sehwag and sachin were on the last phase if their career.

Posted by imtiazjaleel on (March 6, 2014, 14:29 GMT)

Australia deserve to win the Test. I really hate draws the word save is not correct for the sport. It should be win or lose. You are talking about Test Championship, but at the current rules it is impossible to do that.

Posted by Biggus on (March 6, 2014, 14:03 GMT)

@wonderstar1:- This article and comments section WAS about the Capetown test until your countrymen turned up. Hurt? Hardly, but I am annoyed that we can't discuss our game without it being derailed by frustrated Indians. Is that so surprising?

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (March 6, 2014, 13:50 GMT)

@ Dunger.Bob, @OneEyedAussie, @ SherjilIslam, @ Fab comments from you guys, much appreciated and well played again. Was top quality cricket to watch. Over to the hit & giggle T20 cricket now.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (March 6, 2014, 13:44 GMT)

@Shaggy076 After losing, I posted a nice comment congratulating Aus team. Going back and cut and pasting peoples comments is very lame. I have no respect for that. And no, Aus still arel not the greatest bowling attack in the world because they almost never bowled out a team in 2 days after them being 3 down in 3 overs!!

Posted by wonderstar1 on (March 6, 2014, 13:41 GMT)

@Biggus. I have nothing against you and I said what I saw from your previous posts. But sorry if I hurt you.

Posted by likeintcricket on (March 6, 2014, 13:40 GMT)

Australians are deserving winners. Clearly they are better in most departments than South Africa. On current form they are truly number one However, they have to prove against Pak, Ind and Sri in their backtard. They are short of good spinner and it is to be seen how they play against Pak spin this year. But their fast bowling is enough to get the better of the Asians teams.

Posted by wonderstar1 on (March 6, 2014, 13:24 GMT)

@Biggus. whats your problem with India mate? This article has nothing at all to do with India. India are a weak side now with most of their stars retired and cant we just enjoy the Aussie win without dragging any other teams into it. Because I see you have some hatred towards India. though I don't like Indian team for different reasons I think its rude to tell that the pitches are watered and Australia doesn't consider Indian pitches .Then why not cancel the tour to India and stay in Australia?. The real fact is India cant win in Aus and Aus cant win in India irrespective of Doctored pitches or not prepared by both the nations.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 13:15 GMT)

This two teams have battled really well in recent times and again both the teams again they just enlightened the Test cricket once again. Wonder full display of resistance from the South Africans and fought like the worriers till their last breath. This is what test match is all about shows the character of a player. And seeing de viliers now test match no 1 batsmen naturally attacking player just molds him to this format. Once again another great series win for australia..... They are now getting back to their old ways once agan...................................

Posted by jklawrence on (March 6, 2014, 13:15 GMT)

Beating India in India is more than No:1 Status!I agree this to some extent.But SAF had never produced a match winning spinner for a long (in their history,perhaps!).Just like dreaming to defeat Brazil in WC final with ten men!

Posted by Siddhantsachdeva on (March 6, 2014, 13:12 GMT)

wow that was some serious test matches !!!!! the ozs played well and deserved winners , but then again i dont really recognise what the cricketing world really has problem with team india ?? just oz won a series in sa and people start to claim they can win series in india also , really ?? and for all those chanting about india's dismal away record , what australia really did last year,does anybody remomber ,9 test matches on trot sparing about 7-8 months only once really got close to winning it and then get back home win against a pathetic england and then comes sa with everything that can go wrong against the home team went in favour of aus and then people start claiming aus to b no. 1 i just really cant address why people are against team india that much ?? really does a cricketing team can bother the world so much? all oz and saffers complaining about pitches in india ????? seriously !! more than 60% of countries produces pithces like that but people only complain agnst ind?????

Posted by jklawrence on (March 6, 2014, 13:06 GMT)

Life after Kallis and Smith will always going to be difficult for proteas. And if you add the overdependance on ABD and Steyn to it,the journey still remains a long walk in the dark tunnel.

Posted by jklawrence on (March 6, 2014, 12:53 GMT)

No one should forget Lehmann's work behind the stage. Full credit to him.See his jestures during Harris' final over. Take note Mr. Fletcher!

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 12:52 GMT)

Why does it seem that the majority of posters on this thread and most cricketing threads are obsessed with who deserves to be considered 'world no 1' ? The whole concept of a world test championship is a relatively new one so all that truly matters is who your playing right now . Past victories whilst rightfully celebrated mean nothing when taking on the next challenge and so on . Australia are presently enjoying their well earned status as a magnificent team whilst South Africa were by no means disgraced after putting in one of the most courageous displays of rear guard test match batting ever seen . Congratulations to both teams but especially of course - the victors . Now we look forward to the next challenge - not becoming no 1 but beating India at home in ten months

Posted by jklawrence on (March 6, 2014, 12:45 GMT)

Australia has won 2 series out of last 3 in South African soil.While SAF has won back to back series win in Kangaroos homeland.Really wonderful stuff shown by the 2 teams every time they meet. I doubt no other teams had played such enthralling cricket for the past decade.Where is the thrill when teams crushing the opponents in home and suffered the reverse in awayseries?

Posted by Biggus on (March 6, 2014, 12:34 GMT)

Posted by warneneverchuck on (March 6, 2014, 12:11 GMT)

Lol this ordinary Australian team wil struggle against even ordinary spin bowlers also.

Surely that depends on whether the pitch has been selectively watered or not? What does Ashwin average in Australia? Never mind, I'll look it up.......oh, fancy that, it's 62.77 at a legendary strike rate of 112.00. At that rate he should clean us up for no more than 650 in every innings. Sounds like my sort of struggle champ.

Posted by ShutTheGate on (March 6, 2014, 12:21 GMT)

@Shaggy076 - that's hilarious, thanks for posting the quotes.

Imagine if someone went back and quoted front foot lunge! That guy made the most inaccurate claims that I've ever read.

Posted by StarveTheLizard on (March 6, 2014, 12:20 GMT)

So far 1. Regained the Ashes. 2. Beat the #1 side in the world. Items still to achieve: Retain the Ashes in England and beat India in India.

Six months ago, these looked like a tough ask. Now, with this captain and coach, the odds are a whole lot better.

Posted by Biggus on (March 6, 2014, 12:17 GMT)

@Shaggy076:-No Shaggy, that's a fake Albie. The real one has obviously gone bush to hide.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (March 6, 2014, 12:17 GMT)

@ OneEyedAussie on (March 6, 2014, 11:53 GMT) Most of your points are valid but you can argue that till your blue in the face. but the one point I would like to make a comment on is the worlds number one, the Saffers are still the rightful number one and will be for the next couple of years I reckon, they have a massive numerical lead in the rankings and are expected (by me) to win against most if not all of the remaining test playing nations even without Smith and Kallis.

Posted by Protears on (March 6, 2014, 12:16 GMT)

Alot of rebuilding for proteas,new captain,new keeper,new openers,spinners etc - Creebo777.

I don't think its as serious as that.

Captain : Faf - pro-active fielder captains the limited overs teams that have been doing well. Gritty and determined individual and pretty good with conferences.

Keeper : Why? AB has improved his batting by keeping and wants to keep wicket. If he doesn't want to then we can look for one.

Openers : well Elgar is a franchise opener and showed good grit rather smithesque grit. quinton de kock probably the other candidate, as long as they don't curtail him to a stereotypical test player, Quinton showed a range of shots in the PE test and free scoring ability, opens already for the Lions and limited overs teams.

Spinner : FYI Duminy outbowled Lyon as a part timer, think thats distressing if one is a full time spinner. That said Leia and Harmer have been most touted to take the spinners duties.

Posted by warneneverchuck on (March 6, 2014, 12:11 GMT)

Lol this ordinary Australian team wil struggle against even ordinary spin bowlers also.

Posted by OneEyedAussie on (March 6, 2014, 11:53 GMT)

Wow, some of these comments are really sad. Here's my attempt to set it straight: 1) SA should be praised for their fighting spirit - most other teams would have been out before lunch. There was simply no way they were going to win this game, they couldn't even draw it in the end. 2) We whitewashed India and then they whitewashed us. Big deal, it's old news so move on. And there is no golden rule that states a team must beat India at home to be #1. 3) All teams have words to each other, international, domestic, club, you name it. Get over it, I'm sure the players have by now... 4) Winning this series does not make Australia the #1 ranked team. It just means we won a series against the best current opponent.5) Losing this series does not mean SA do not "deserve" the # 1 ranking. Think about how silly a comment like that is for a few minutes. They earned the ground they have gained over #2 team over a long period and it will take a long period to take it from them.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (March 6, 2014, 11:41 GMT)

@biggyyd ""pitch showed how one dimensional oz bowling is," @ Albie Hanekon "im afraid another terrible pasting is coming in cape town" - However, I have seen Albie eat humble pie in this thread most of the others are no where to be seen. I give Albie credit for that " @Cpt.Meanstar ""I hope the Aussie fans eat a lot of humble pie and admit they are an ordinary team." - When are you going to have a slice of that pie Meanstar? @TommyTuckerSaffa "Aus best bowling attack in the world?? Don't make me laugh." - Again I give Tommy Tucker credit for coming on here and eating his slice of Meanstar's pie. @ MuneebDawood "How mediocre were Harris and Siddle?? In fact, Siddle has been bad this whole series in my opinion. Not penetrative at all. Harris took 1 wicket in the game - that's shocking for such a highly rated bowler. What happened to the best attack in the world?? Can't take wickets on flat tracks? Then why call urself the best?"

Posted by Shaggy076 on (March 6, 2014, 11:36 GMT)

On the completion of the second test I made a note of a view of the most boastful and Aussie bashing posts which looking back on it seem quite funny now. I thought I would repost the best ones here @ Greatest_Game "Greatest Game ""Morkel" superior bouncer bowler with much faster pace and big bounce that make Jonson inferior bowler scared eyes and bowl rubbish now." @Stormy16 "SA have the best bowlers and batters in the world and they were all on show on a difficult wicket and Aus were I am afraid no where." @Yentile ""Comparing Johnson & Steyn is chalk and cheese, innit" = I guess he is right but not how he meant it. @Niceday "Australians "the great pretenders". They were never going to be a match for decent bowling." @FighterKallis "Aussies are chokers and with AB , amla , steyn on song they will get a thrashing in capetown. Capetown is a heaven for saffas. may be 100 or less all out" @KashifTasneen "". No comparison between the 2 sides. South Africa too good."

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 11:31 GMT)

@Protears, sorry, I think I probably didn't put that across as well as I might have.

Parnell and Elgar i'm sure are not the only choices, But we don't get too much domestic SA cricket to watch outside of SA! What I meant was that these two guys are definitely up to it, from what we saw in this series. I do think though that it's going to take SA a while to find a combination, particularly with not much tough cricket coming up for you guys to sort the wheat from the chaff. But I think SA with their current 7 man batting combo is too defensive, particularly when you have some very high quality batsmen in there and your bowlers can pretty much all bat, makes you very hard to bowl out but perhaps doesn't allow a guy like Steyn, who is your trump card, to operate with the same incision as we've seen from Johnson in this series, certainly he has more on his plate with Kallis gone. With guys like Parnell and Philander who can bat and bowl, you have to ask why?

Posted by Shaggy076 on (March 6, 2014, 11:29 GMT)

Shut_the_Gate; Yes we would have tried but history says we would have failed miserably. I love our aggressive point of view but dont like the way when we have no hope of winning we cant scrap to try and get a draw. WInning is the ultimate but drawing a game is a lot better than losing. If the South Africans didnt put up such a fight no one would have got to see the amazing to deliveries a clearly injured Ryan Harris bowled. If they went for it, it would have just been another run of the mill win for the Aussies. The South Africans fighting has helped create the legacy of this game and Ryan Harris will forever be remembered for his deeds. None of htis would have been remembered in years to come if they surrended meekly.

Posted by creebo777 on (March 6, 2014, 11:27 GMT)

Alot of rebuilding for proteas,new captain,new keeper,new openers,spinners etc

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (March 6, 2014, 11:19 GMT)

The good thing... no the great thing.... about India being the worst and most embarrassing team in the world to play away from home is that they have to play Australia next summer in Australia, and a world cup in Australia and NZ any team playing them can book in 2 points.

Posted by PrasPunter on (March 6, 2014, 11:14 GMT)

@Mintsweety, they are just made that way - lets ignore and celebrate one of our sweetest triumphs of recent times.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 11:14 GMT)

This is the OZ spirit I have been missing since the departure of the legends. Bring it all together and rule the world again for a couple of decades or even more..

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 11:14 GMT)

Rating :Aus) Warner 9, Rodgers 6, Doolan 3, Marsh 2.5, Clarke 7.5, Smith 8, Watson 5.5, Haddin 2, Johnson 9, Harris 8.5, Siddle 6, Lyon 6.5, Pattinson 5. SA) Smith 0.5, peterson 1.5, Ealger 5, Amla 6, Faf 7, ABD 9, Duminy 7, Q.d kock 0.4, Mcleran 4.5, W . Par 3, Philander 6.5, Abott 5, steyn 8.5, morkel 4.5. Aus on top and the win the series 2-1. Top three Aus player 1.warner 2.harris 3.Johnson Sa player 1.Abd, 2. Steyn, 3. Faf. Top five player of the series . 1 Warner 2 Abd 3 Johnson, 4, steyn 5 harris . Worse player to be in this series 1. Smith 2. Doolan, 3. Rj Peterson 4. An peterson 5. Marsh . Best captain Clarke. Controversy Warner to Abd reverse swing . Fight FafVSjon , ClarkvsSteyn , killing attack morkel to Clarke, angerness s.smith to faf, Lots of drama on day 5 third test, injured: Harris, steyn, malaren, parnel, watson, johnson(almost), philander(food poisining)

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 11:14 GMT)

@Cricketing Stargazer, clearly i've been daydreaming all summer long about all the centuries Warner, Rogers and Clarke have made. About all the crucial wickets the likes of Siddle, Lyon and Patto have picked up and clearly missed out on all the bailouts that were required in SA, which was precisely zero. In fact, without checking any facts at all, i'd have a guess and say that Warner, by himself, scored as many centuries as Aus conceded. Not bad for an inconsistent slogger. Haddin didn't need to do a thing with the bat in SA and when you restrict guys like Bell, KP, Cook, Smith and Amla to just one century over eight matches, that is a team effort. Only the pure class of AB was able to make runs consistently and that is down to a rock solid performance from a five man attack. Even in England it was only Bell that could make runs. Aus are playing as a strong ten man unit, the only thing missing is a high class no.3. And as we saw with Patto coming in, there is some quality depth.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (March 6, 2014, 11:06 GMT)

Congrats to Aus, I think few in the game saw this coming, 7 wins in 8 tests against what were the 2 best sides in the world, espically when you consider they didn't win any of the previous 9. I think Lehman deserves huge credit for turning the side around. As for SAF we have known for sometime that Smith & Kallis have been coming toward the ends of the careers & to loose both within a few months is a huge blow. I don't think replacing them is SA's only problem. They seem no closer in their search for a world class spinner. Morkel has been looking less & less effecitive recently to the point where he probably dosen't warrant a place in the starting XI anymore. SA do have some decent young quicks but in IMO the best is De Lange & hes been struggling with serious injury for some time now, which is a worry. I also wonder how long Steyn can go on leading the attack in forms. This SA team pecked in 2012 & it now looks like they are in for lengthy period of rebuilding.

Posted by InfiniteWhite on (March 6, 2014, 11:02 GMT)

Congratulations to Australia and SA for a really great series! Now that the Australian summer is finished we can clean up the mess and count the bodies. Ill: Trott. Retired: Flower, Swann, G Smith. Sacked: Pietersen. Unlikely to play again in the near future: Finn, Rankin, Tremlett, Petersen, McLaren. A question mark is also hanging over Carberry, Prior and Siddle and we need to wait for the next series to see whether they can hold their spots.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (March 6, 2014, 10:56 GMT)

This is getting beyond a joke! on all the news broadcasts they have had stories on what they have described as a terrific series, people at work were all talking about it, the football commentators tonight mentioned it... and not one of them mentioned that we have not performed in India recently, common Aussies get real, if you cannot beat a team that everyone beats how good are ya. BRING ON THE SUMMER.

Posted by AbrahamAbhishek on (March 6, 2014, 10:51 GMT)

I was hoping that South Africa won this series, just because Australia are one of the Big 3. But it is difficult to not cheer for Mitch Johnson when he is bowling like that; our generation has been a bit starved of tearaway quicks. Not to sideline Harris, Lyon and Siddle, but the same attack looked so different without Mitch in the Ashes in England.

Posted by Protears on (March 6, 2014, 10:50 GMT)

@Jono Makim, I dont' really see SA needing that much rebuilding, even more strange that you suggest only Elgar and Parnell are the only choices. Roussouw, Ingram, De Kock, Cook, Puttick, Miller, Elgar, Bavuma, Van Zyl all solid at FC level all merit a chance to be looked at in the whites. Bowling wise, Viljoen, De Lange, Parnell, Hendricks, Harmer and Abbott who bowled extremely well. Then you look at the U19's and Kagiso Ribada will be an international test player without doubt 150kmh bringing it down from over 7ft was enough to scare everything before him at the u19 wc.

@Scuderia Vernon bowled tidy enough in the first two test, actually very well in PE with key breaks and economical on a docile track. Batting wise Vern has been solid, he was targeted in CT probably in the absence of Steyn.

Posted by crickeymate on (March 6, 2014, 10:46 GMT)

@ one down, posts like yours make me sick. Total disrespect for a team that flogged us in the second test and came within a whisker of drawing the series. To all South Africa please note that we are not all like him.

Posted by Mervo on (March 6, 2014, 10:42 GMT)

As much as we Aussies like to beat the Poms, the Yarpies are always better. However, I always have such respect for the SA guys and when they win, I am always pleased as well. I rate Aust-SA games far ahead of the Ashes, which I always think are over rated and lack the depth of passion and determination we see between Aust and SA. Thank you all for a great series.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (March 6, 2014, 10:42 GMT)

@Jono Makim That ignores the fact that Australia were regularly losing top-order wickets before the very powerful lower order bailed them out and the Harris/Johnson combo got to work. I did some fact-checking and you really do not appear to have followed your side much over the last few months.

In this series you were 98-4 at Centurion, 128-6 and 166-6 at Port Elizabeth. Against England: 97-5 at Sydney, 122-6 at Melbourne, 143-5 at Perth and 132-6 at Brisbane. Last summer the top order rarely got past 100 with fewer than 4 down. The fact that Australia have won so many Tests is due to Smith, Haddin and the tail rescuing poor starts and a very, very good new ball attack.

Posted by Forza_Scuderia on (March 6, 2014, 10:21 GMT)

@Protears, I find it rather strange that you've given Philander a tour rating of 7... He was woeful in his primary role by collecting only 7 wickets at an average of 51.

Morkel was even worse if you ask me because he ruffled a few feathers but was unable to break through.

Anyway, good series win by the Aussies and some real fighting stuff from the Protea's yesterday. These two countries really need to play 5 test series going forward because they bring out the best in each other.

On a side note, I was flabbergasted when the dismissal of Philander was overturned. There was no conclusive evidence that his hand was completely off the bat and yet the umpire decided to overturn the on-field decision. We might as well get rid of on-field umpires then.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (March 6, 2014, 10:19 GMT)

@CodandChips There will always be those who prefer instant gratification to quality. For me, the last day of this Test is as fine a demonstration of what Test cricket is about as any recently.

Look at some of the finishes that Australia have been involved in over the last year: Trent Bridge, Chester-Le-Street, The Oval and now Cape Town.. In none of them could you, an hour before the end, have predicted how it was going to finish.

Gut-wrenching for South Africa to get so close to saving the match, but they really were a distant second in the game and Australia would have felt rightly cheated if they had not won.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 10:10 GMT)

Ok to all Indian fans who keep saying you have to win in India to be considered a great team. In all fairness, India has some good batsman, and with their flat tracks, it's hard to take 20 wickets.

But given the Aus batsman enjoy the same conditions, and India's bowling attack, they should at least draw matches. Losing 4-0 and appearing completely clueless against spin was a bad look, Aus need to redeem themselves in this department before they can claim to be no.1. Can't wait for their next tour to the subcontinent

Posted by Protears on (March 6, 2014, 9:55 GMT)

I think only die hard naive Indian fans actually think they are relevant. The audacity to talk about Australian cricket let alone RSA cricket when there are glaring on and off field issues with Indian cricket. Its hilarious at best.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 9:55 GMT)

I think for SA that Smith going might be a release for the team to reconfigure and go out and play some more positive cricket, kind of like Ponting handing over the reigns to Clarke.

For mine AB just looked the natural leader of the SA team throughout the whole series, he must be captain. I also would be recalling Johan Botha from Aus, left field call maybe but he could definitely bat at 7 and control the game much better with the ball than the likes of Duminy and Elgar. He is a very hardened cricketer and leader.

Elgar,?????, Amla, Faf DP, AB, Duminy, Botha, Parnell, Philander, Steyn, Hendricks/De Lange/Abbott would be my SA xi

Morkel I would leave out, he needs to go away and sort out a bowling plan because right now he is all over the shop, some fans thought he was pretty immense at times but for me he was disappointing, he looked like a guy who could bowl fast and everything but he genuinely did not know how to take wickets.

Posted by AMAR3366 on (March 6, 2014, 9:46 GMT)

soon australia take no. 1 rank in test cricket.once again congrats to australia and all teammates for their great victory.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 9:40 GMT)

@Cricketingstargazer, I can't help but feeling that you are ignoring the reality of a summer where Aus has won seven tests and lost just one, against the two teams that started the summer ranked 1 and 2. Fragile top order? You mean no no.3, right? Apart from that our top five is looking very strong, i'd have thought? A bowling attack that relies on two men? You mean like Anderson and Swann, or Steyn and Philander? Keep the backhanded compliments coming, we'll store them away and see you again soon!

Fact is, both England and SA have huge rebuilding jobs on their hands, England's dilemna's need no pointing out but I feel like SA haven't yet quite come to terms with losing Kallis and now Smith. Losing Kallis has exposed the likes of Alviro and Robbie P as non performers and they've also had no-one to hold up an end with serious pressure with the ball like Kallis could, their rebuild is going to take a while but at least they have some talent like Parnell and Elgar coming I guess!

Posted by smweb2.0 on (March 6, 2014, 9:38 GMT)

As an Indian and a neutral observer, this test was one of the strongest advocates of test cricket. Both the countries displayed stupendous cricketing skills, though Australia were clearly the better side all through. It was heartening to see that none of the S'African wickets that fell on their second innings was due to irresponsible shot making. Even a flamboyant batsman like ABDB showed tremendous restraint. It was the Aussies who manufactured almost all the wickets with their perseverance. One of the admirable qualities that these two countries displayed was patriotism, which was so refreshing to see.

On a side note, there were so many occasions when Indian tail could have saved or won a test match but failed due to their inability and irresponsible shot making. The same thing can be observed when they bowl too. The bowling line up has historically shown lack of discipline and they fail to sustain pressure on the opponent - evident especially during the overseas tours.

Posted by Mintsweety on (March 6, 2014, 9:35 GMT)

Gee whiz, some of those Indian fans comments are unbelievable. It leads me to believe that India are the true world champions, only bad luck had denied them. Whereas Aus are the lowest of the low, bad losers and ungrateful winners. Hmm let's look back on some of dhoni and kumbles past comments...yep the stuff of champions! Oh please, lobotomise me now...nurse!

Posted by aus_trad on (March 6, 2014, 9:32 GMT)

Wow, how quickly the fortunes of a test side can change. After the India series, then the first two tests of the Ashes series last year, Aus had apparently "gone about as far (downwards) as they could go". In fact, as it has transpired, that point marked the beginning of an upward trend which sees them officially no. 2 in the world again, having beaten the no. 1 team at home. Can't wait to see what happens next...!!

Posted by CodandChips on (March 6, 2014, 9:19 GMT)

Yet there are people who dislike test cricket

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 9:09 GMT)

Proteas? A better name would be cockroaches. Teams underestimate their tenacity and resiliance at their peril. Perhaps the years of defending themslves against critics during isolation has given them a complex. They are never happier than when they have got themselves in a corner and have to rely on middle and lower order batting to get them through. Yes, cockroches. They certainly aren't cricket(er)s.

Posted by Madpashcrickers on (March 6, 2014, 9:00 GMT)

As an England supporter I have nothing but admiration for the way Australia are playing now, with tremendous flair, will to win and instinct to attack at all times - it's great for test cricket as a whole. They rightly demolished a stale and complacent England side and now they have beaten a really tough and battle-hardened SA team in their own backyard - fantastic cricket. Everyone in their team contributed so it's almost invidious to name individuals but Warner is like Pietersen only better - the gift to conjure attacking strokes to almost any ball and the guts to do it constantly, but Warner's basic technique is much sounder than Pietersen's. Harris and Johnson, 34 and 32 but still the desire and the heart to turn out match-winning displays of high class fast bowling game after game. Clarke's consistently innovative and attacking captaincy and ability to produce big runs under pressure. Smith's raw but potent strokeplay and legspin. Hats off to the whole team.

Posted by PrasPunter on (March 6, 2014, 8:59 GMT)

On Day one, when we were batting well, I held back all my comments for the fear of jinx. Now that we have won, can breathe easy.

SA are a very good team and hard to beat. Really nice of us getting past the line this time . Rhino is a Hero for ages !! He is coming back !! That is a given !!

Fantastic to win 7 out of the last 8 tests against 2 top quality sides.

Hope we only get better from here. Boys can take a nice long break. You deserve it !! God Bless Aus !!!

Posted by 122notoutWestByfleet1996 on (March 6, 2014, 8:36 GMT)

as an England fan and fan of test cricket in general, I find I must doff my hat to the Aussies on a fine series win and one of the most remarkable team recoveries I have ever witnessed.

Harris is simply world class as is MJ (at the moment). Love him or hate him, Davey Warner is simply playing out of his ski at the moment and reminds me a little of a short Matty Hayden, with the same muscular presence at the crease and aptitude for brutalising bowling attacks.

Right now they are a difficult team to beat - whilst England had a horrible Ashes this winter, I think the quality shown by the Aussies illustrates that not all as bad with English cricket - yes there are some issues but ultimately we came up against a strong team firing on all cylinders.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 8:25 GMT)

LMAO. Aussies could go the next 4 years unbeaten and people would still say they are ordinary. Whatever helps you sleep at night. Win a series 5-0 then beat SA at home (when the overused comment is people can't play away) who else has done that in the last decade? When you add the players together they become more than on their own and that is what makes a great team.

Posted by Biggus on (March 6, 2014, 8:23 GMT)

@Appu Dasa:- Given that India were at one time ranked number one in tests but have never won a series in Australia why is it necessary for us to win in India. Did the Indian fans say when they were rated #1, "No, we have not ever won in Australia, we do not deserve such an accolade"? Of course not! News flash for you:- 1 ) To us the world does not revolve around India. 2) We don't really rate India as a cricketing power in on-field terms. 3) We don't rate your wickets as anything other than doctored wickets that try to achieve what your players cant. 4) We don't pay all that much attention to Indian fans because they're the most one-eyed and least knowledgeable on the planet.

There, I hope that has cleared up some of your misconceptions......

Posted by Protears on (March 6, 2014, 8:22 GMT)

My Protea's ratings for the series: Smith 3, Petersen 3, Elgar 5, Amla 6.5, De Villiers 9, Du Plessis 7.5, Duminy 6, McLaren 4, Parnel 5, Philander 7, R Peterson 3, Steyn 8, Morkel 6, Abbott 7, De Kock 5.

Team rating 6.5/10 to many players out of form or carrying injuries.

Area of concern: Openers, second and third change bowling, Fielding the worst ive seen in years from us.

Fixes: De Kock has to play in some way, stroke making aggressive opener, youth can overcome fear on naivity and that has rewards if they don't try change him into a robot of a player. Abbott is a better option over Morne right now and Parnell gives a ball and bat option. Simon Harmer will probably be called up as a the spinner.

Posted by dunger.bob on (March 6, 2014, 8:18 GMT)

@ Thegimp: Total agreement from on the playing for a draw thing. Watching us trying to do what SA almost did is like watching a day old foal on roller skates. .. We only know one way. Attack. If that fails, attack a bit harder. .. We're definitely not the draw type, and that's something we should probably work on.

Posted by Mindmeld on (March 6, 2014, 8:13 GMT)

@CricketingStargazer "but it hangs on and wins". I would have thought that winning two tests vs SA by well over 200 runs after losing only a dozen or so wickets while scoring at 4+ runs an over - and the huge wins vs England - would not quite fit the description "hanging on for a win". But hey, maybe your grasp of the English language is superior to mine and you are more intimately aquatinted with the etymology of the words you employ.

Posted by pick_at_the_seam on (March 6, 2014, 8:07 GMT)

Dave warener is still improving. scary. I am really enjoying Steve Smith's growth. he is going to be impossible to get out soon. Selectors stop going on hunches an reward performance at shield level. Marsh Doolan out. Hughes & ? in. Cant wait for Pat Cummins to be 100% again....oh boy

Posted by Protears on (March 6, 2014, 8:05 GMT)

I just laugh at the comments made, sure there were many factors that worked against us coming into the series, the most pertinent was not playing test cricket and India curtailing a 4 test series into 2 tests didn't help preparations, despite wining that series there were alarm bells in terms of form. Then the Kallis bombshell happened by surprise. Week later Dale Steyn has rib injuries, Philander a shoulder problem and AB surgery to his hand, admittedly all three contributed with bat and/or ball.

The only area of concern is opening, I expect Elgar and De Kock to do that going into the Windies series, the Captain issue is simple, Faf Du Plessis is the stand out. I would also send Morkel to play in England and Australia to redevelop his game in the process stick with Abbott and Parnell, bring in Harmer as the spinner, that said JP took as many wickets as Lyon did. South African depth in talent is pretty big pool we only have to look at the u19's as proof.

Posted by pick_at_the_seam on (March 6, 2014, 8:04 GMT)

@CricketingStargazer: the first year of Australia's great dominance was full of similar comments to yours. not good enough. too brittle. etc. Think about what is happening here. It might just be.

Posted by pick_at_the_seam on (March 6, 2014, 7:59 GMT)

test cricket rules when played in the right spirit. I love it when we play SA. They compete so hard and never give up. I tips me hat to the saffas. Ok. now who's next?

Posted by dalboy12 on (March 6, 2014, 7:56 GMT)

So lets say NZ was touring Aussie next and managed to win the series. Given the Black Caps have just beaten India in a series at home --- would the Black Caps now be the best Test Playing nation in the world? I'm guessing most of you would say no way. I think it's same situation here --- sure we can debate if Aussie is the best test playing nation in the world right now, but I think it's right that the ICC standing still have SA as the top team. They have not lost a series at home or away for 5 years - and in that last 5 years hardly any other teams have won away from home. Given this I don't think SA deserve to lose their #1 rating simply due to a lost in this series, the past 5 years of dominance has given them the right for one bad series. That said, I hope SA address their slow starts to series and tests --- they can't keep coming from behind - i would be hoping they review their preparation for big games (may also stop their quick bowlers from breaking down in key games)

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (March 6, 2014, 7:52 GMT)

Kudos to the Australians. A lot of us felt that Australia would be found out in this series because England had been so awful. The truth seems to be that Australia genuinely have put together in a few months since the low of Chester-Le-Street and the lucky escape at The Oval, a very good side. It's not a great side, by any stretch of the imagine: fragile top order and bowling very dependent on the new ball pair to fire, but it hangs on and wins.

Yesterday's action was really quite something to follow. I though that South Africa would do well to get much past lunch. To have got so close to saving the game - although they were utterly outplayed for 4 days of it - was an amazing effort. However, it also showed how much Australia's attack really does depend on the Johnson/Ryan speed combo: yesterday both were well down on pace and the result was a real struggle to knock over the tail because there was no other real strike option.

For me the key man has been Ryan: 5mph faster than in Eng.

Posted by KGY27 on (March 6, 2014, 7:48 GMT)

Great win and brilliant series. I couldn't turn the tv off. After what seemed an eternity of the big bash over the summer it's obvious test cricket lives!!! A see sawing series what a great way to end the Aussie summer. Well played SA though and congrats to one G. Smith for an amazing career and outstanding sportsmanship and courage all the way.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 7:47 GMT)

AS a neutral fan i must say, Test cricket at it best. its simply amazing to see the spirit of both team,, well done for both teams.

Posted by Thegimp on (March 6, 2014, 7:44 GMT)

@ShutTheGate.....No I can't see Australia playing out a day for a draw. We are horrible at playing out a day for a draw. Having watched many many series I can't recall too many where we have been set impossible targets, but even so, we are terrible at trying to bat a game out, it's not in our psych, we don't do it at 1st class level, we don't do it at club level, so we might as well have a dip at winning. At least once in a blue moon we might actually win one.

Posted by Brenton1 on (March 6, 2014, 7:41 GMT)

@ AMAR3366: If the rankings were judged over 1 series over who beat who then yes Australia are number 1. But just 6 months ago they went down to England in the Ashes in England.Would they have been considered #1 then? Over a longer period of time SA have won and drawn series in places Australia have lost. As for SA not having a good record in Asia - show me the facts. Neither Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka managed to win a series again SA in asian conditions. Sure - SA didnt manage to win series against those teams but they didnt lose series either and managed to win a few tests. SA's last series loss was to Australia in 2009 in SA. The facts speak for themselves. In the future I can see Australia becoming #1 but as things stand now they still need to work for it.

Posted by Thegimp on (March 6, 2014, 7:35 GMT)

@SherjilIslam....mate, all we have had all series is the constant "Until they can win on the sub continent....." drivell. Just having a dig back bro.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (March 6, 2014, 7:35 GMT)

@Appu Dasa I'm willing to concede India as we almost never perform there, but when did Australia lose to Sri Lanka recently? We beat them home and away every time except one time. The time when 2 of our guys ran into each other and didn't play for the rest of one of the matches.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 7:29 GMT)

Michael Clarke has already won a series in SL his first series as captain.So if he wins UAE it should settle all questions.The West Indies side of 80s didnt win in NZ and no one degrades them for it.There cannot be two sets of standards for two teams. Clarke has won 19 tests he has captained and has done the best he can with modest bunch of cricketer, unlike Greg chappell who had talented cricketers and ran his team to ground.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 7:19 GMT)

Much credit goes to Warner as his overall strike rate in the test is near 90. If there is an attacking opening batsman like Warner or Sehwag it is a big positive for the side. India is missing an opener like Viru these days. If not find an attacking opener it is not easy for India to win abroad.

Posted by LoungeChairCritic on (March 6, 2014, 7:12 GMT)

@shaggy 076 I totally agree. The Saffers should be praised for their fight. Playing for the draw made total sense. Give them credit they have only lost 2 series out of 27. Although I thoroughly enjoy the shorter form of the game, nothing beats a close test match with plenty of twists and turns. For the good of the game I hope and pray that our friends from the subcontinent who help prop our game up will continue to appreciate it in the future.

Posted by yamaha99 on (March 6, 2014, 7:10 GMT)

Australia played exceptionally well to deserve this victory, on the other hand SA played up to their potential.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 7:00 GMT)

Oh How I wish the top three batsman in the SA line up played 5 more overs among them...

Posted by AMAR3366 on (March 6, 2014, 6:53 GMT)

Brenton1 you say SA deserve no.1 spot but i did not agree.AUSTRALIA most likely deserve no.1 rank because AUSTRALIA have such players who perform every condition.SA record in other county specially in ASIA is not good.in this series AUSTRALIA (ahead of second test) outclass SA.not this in every time and every series.CONGRATS TO AUSSIES.

Posted by Jagger on (March 6, 2014, 6:49 GMT)

A bit of redemption is felt from Adelaide, where we Australians were on the receiving end of having a bowler down.

Pattinson over Bird in this case was the correct decision, well done, but its disappointing Watson has been allowed back so quickly, however. In future he may win us world cups, but he is not good enough, in more ways than one, for our Test team. We already have a proven Test number 6 in Smith, and Watson can not bat any higher if we are to improve as a team.

Very happy Siddle was dropped. Very happy we saw Lyon is the same type as Siddle. As is Watson. Very happy its all there for us to see they get their wickets gifted to them by reckless batsmen. You may get away with it against India & co., but at this level it is nowhere near good enough.

Let's all hope Ryan Harris is fit for the ODI World Cup. Supremely skilled. Tough as nails.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 6:45 GMT)

Oh how I wish the top 3 batsman of the south African team batted 30 more deliveries among them!!!

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 6:37 GMT)

As an SA fan, obviously I'm gutted that we couldn't hold on for the draw. But the cold, hard truth is that we were outplayed and Australia deserve their victory. I'm still immensely proud of my team for the fight and grit they showed in almost pulling off the draw.

I'm not gonna make excuses, as I feel this would be doing a disservice to Australia and the way they played.

Well played, Australia.

Posted by popcorn on (March 6, 2014, 6:37 GMT)

Australia under Michael Clarke has transcended EVERY Hurdle. Number One is not too far away.What a Team!

Posted by popcorn on (March 6, 2014, 6:34 GMT)

THIS is Test Cricket. Gripping. Who wants silly Big Bash?

Posted by JohnMR on (March 6, 2014, 6:31 GMT)

Jonesy2-fantastic series I agree. Deserved 5 matches.

Aus aren't the best though. They still have to win a series in India, win in England and continue to be consistently good. As the Saffas have been over the last 7 or 8 years. (haven't lost away from home in the last 8 years and only lost twice at home in the same period.)

Aus are a good team but not the best. Yet.

Posted by JimmySA on (March 6, 2014, 6:30 GMT)

No doubt Australia deserved that victory. I'm glad the Proteas put on such a great fight the whole day. But the result is correct 2-1 to the Aussies. The better team won the series. Here is to hoping the Proteas will bounce back quickly after losing 2 greats in the game.

Posted by Gzero on (March 6, 2014, 6:29 GMT)

Looking at matches like this & the one between India & SA, I think the Era of test cricket is Back. These matches are more nail-biting than T-20, Particularly the 5th day. Cheers to Test Cricket.

Posted by dinosaurus on (March 6, 2014, 6:28 GMT)

@wellrounded87

I know I'm old and out of touch but one of the most exciting games I can recall was the drawn Adelaide test in the 1960-61 West Indies tour of Australia. The dogged all-rounder Ken Mackay and the No. 11 spinner Lindsay Kline pulled off a remarkable draw, batting together for almost all of the final session.

"Worrell declared and set Australia to score 460 in just over six and a half hours. Australia lost three wickets for 31 and anxiously faced the last day. Their hopes were raised by a determined stand by O'Neill and Burge, who justified his return to Test cricket. This lasted almost until lunch. Yet all seemed lost until the splendid fighting resistance of MacKay and Kline. For the last over Worrell recalled Hall to bowl to MacKay, but the Queenslander survived."

Monty Panesar's contribution to England's escape at Cardiff in the 2009 Ashes was also exciting. Test cricket is ruthless (SA and Aus have demonstrated its toughness.) So a draw is a very honourable result.

Posted by Lenniesahayi on (March 6, 2014, 6:23 GMT)

This was test cricket at its best!I am a huge Australian fan but I got too emotional towards the end to even watch the match,when I later recollected myself to check the score,you can imagine how gutted I was.It's so sad such teams play 3 matches.When they wear those whites and play such a match and call themselves gentlemen,give it to these lads,they deserve such respect!! Aussies all the way.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 6:19 GMT)

Quite amazing. In the end Australia "out-South-Africaed" South Africa. The only way to beat SA is to be more dogged, determined, and less willing to lose than the Proteas themslves, and that's exactly what Australia did. I think Australia thought they had expended every possible effort to beat England 5-0, but agianst SA they had to produce more, and on Day 5 they had to produce more even than that. Superb cricket from both sides. If matches like this keep being played, Test cricket will never die.

Posted by Biggus on (March 6, 2014, 6:16 GMT)

Posted by Krishna Chaitanya on (March 6, 2014, 5:44 GMT)

One of the most boring tests ever!! Games such as this are the sole reason why people are switching to T20. Never watching a test again.

@Krishna Chaitanya:-Best news I've heard of all day, we can only hope you don't see fit to comment on those tests you've sworn not to watch, but that would surely be too much to hope for and I suspect we'll be subjected to your ignorance again and again. You plainly don't have the necessary attention span to appreciate test cricket but never mind, the shallowness and tinsel of the next eminently forgettable IPL season is just around the corner, just the sort of rubbish you should be able to grasp.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 6:16 GMT)

To be ranked the best side Aussies will have to perform these heroics in the Subcontinent. Judging from this series, they will not have the capability of defeating India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in their home grounds. But Ponting and Waugh both did that and became world No 1.

Posted by dunger.bob on (March 6, 2014, 6:15 GMT)

@ Shaggy076 : "Who believes 500 from 130 overs is achievable with 7 wickets in hand?" .. Not me. You're dead right, they had no choice. Looking at it from their point of view, it's much better to draw a series than lose it because the rankings system weighs series results way more heavily than individual Test results. .. From their POV, it would have been tantamount to suicide to attempt to chase it down. Also, they came bloody close to the draw so I've got no problem at all with what they did.

Posted by milepost on (March 6, 2014, 6:09 GMT)

@DJAbacus, you poor thing, you still hurting from the Ashes? You've come to this post to predict Australia will be over the hill next year and that 'normal Ashes service will resume'. Normal Ashes service did resume in Australia and did you notice that England's problems didn't end when their tour did and that they still continue? Meanwhile, we just beat a very good cricket team in their own back yard in a series that was full of amazing individual brilliance from players on both sides. The great Grahame Smith has retired, we saw 3 results, loads of runs, brilliant fielding and hostile fast bowling. Playing SA is as good as it gets. Playing an England side that have no talent (they sacked their only world class player) isn't a particularly exciting thought, especially when this thread is about the great spectacle the Proteas and Aussies put on for us. Your team managed a debacle for the paying public.

Posted by Iceman29 on (March 6, 2014, 5:58 GMT)

So the Aussies are back to the top in style...before the series i had doubts on Aussie batting but they proved me wrong...But I always had doubts about SA batting because they never faced such quality bowling from any team thats why they are still at the top....the moment I knew Aussie gonna play SA I was sure SA gonna struggle...and it happened exactly the same and they lost the series...congrats to both teams though...truly the number 1 and 2 teams in the world...next World cup is in the grasp of Aussies...Ind fan here...

Posted by Samdanh on (March 6, 2014, 5:56 GMT)

Great series. Well fought by both teams. Congrats to both teams for providing some scintillating cricket. Congrats Aus. SA, keep your chin up, you alsmost pulled a draw off. Aimless Aus and SA haters, especially some from the subcontinent, must be looking for a hole to hide. Rest in peace. Cricinfo, please publish

Posted by dunger.bob on (March 6, 2014, 5:52 GMT)

@ SherjilIslam on (March 6, 2014, 5:20 GMT): Umm, I'm pretty sure theGimp is an Aussie. It was a bit of a dig at the Indians really. The question that came to my mind when I read that (taking a bit of a leap of faith that it's true) is WHY don't they televise away series. Could it be they never win away from home and it doesn't suit their propaganda machine to show loss after loss.

Posted by Brenton1 on (March 6, 2014, 5:49 GMT)

Well played Australia. I think the current Australian team is better than the current SA team but SA still deserve to be number 1. Before yesterday SA hadnt lost a series in 5 years.They came within 5 overs of maintaining that record. That justifies their ranking. Whether they stay #1 depends on how they handle the loss of Smith and Kallis. Australia on the other hand will be coming after the #1 spot. If they get it will depend on if they can maintain their current form for a number of series coming up. All I can say it there are interesting times ahead

Posted by Biggus on (March 6, 2014, 5:47 GMT)

@ Shaggy076:- Yeah, I'm with you, can't fault the Saffers for putting up the shutters after 3-15. Anyone who saw Adelaide knew what they'd do, in fact over the years I've played out a few dead bat marathons to stave off defeat myself and never felt bad about it in the slightest. It was exactly what was required and to their credit they nearly pulled it off. They deserve credit for the effort, not to be given a hard time, and it just goes to show the bulk of posters have no idea about test cricket that so many have seen fit to pan their effort. Sad that such a fine game has resulted in the flooding of the comments section with so much uninformed and nasty sentiment, but that's the world we live in.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 5:44 GMT)

One of the most boring tests ever!! Games such as this are the sole reason why people are switching to T20. Never watching a test again.

Posted by jonesy2 on (March 6, 2014, 5:43 GMT)

I tip my hat to SA for fighting so hard, im glad they did, it makes the victory so much better, they were the best, they gave their best, but they were beaten by a better team, now Australia are the best

Posted by ShutTheGate on (March 6, 2014, 5:43 GMT)

When are we going to have 4 or 5 test series for South Africa versus Australia?

Best of three is ridiculous, these two teams are too good for that.

Posted by ShutTheGate on (March 6, 2014, 5:41 GMT)

@ Shaggy076

If the Aussies lost 3 quick wickets on day four can you imagine them closing up shop and being singularly focused on a draw?

I can't, as the Aussies are fighters. They would rather die trying. As it turns out SA gave up on day four and still lost. If I was a SA fan I'd be frustrated and embarrassed.

Posted by jonesy2 on (March 6, 2014, 5:41 GMT)

this Australian team will go down as one of the greatest, led by ryan harris, Michael Clarke, david warner, steve smith and Mitchell Johnson to win an ashes series 5-0 then back it up with a series victory in south Africa but not only that it was the way it was achieved, belting England in all 5 tests then replicating that in the first against SA then being soundly beaten in the second after not being able to cope with a certain period of play then bouncing back and dominating the decider only to fight out an unbelievable victory where the south African players were giving their lives for a draw. legends. we are the number one team now by a long way the rankings are a complete injustice and a disgrace but im not concerned about that because Australia will keep on winning, they have to.

Posted by Gabbagod on (March 6, 2014, 5:33 GMT)

Illingworth tried to do to Australia what Bowden did at Edgbaston in 2005 and rob Australia but justice prevailed. Having said that, if there is one side in World cricket that deserved a "result" it was South Africa. Nothing but praise for the Proteas' lower order and huge respect to them.

Posted by Henry_Crun on (March 6, 2014, 5:30 GMT)

Mission accomplished Australia and congratulations SA on a wonderful fight. After watching every minute of the series until last night exhaustion and old age finally got the best of me. As a result of two short naps, one longer nap, and two dunny breaks I successfully managed to miss the fall of all six wickets. I've learned my lesson; whenever Aus. needs a wicket in future I'm off to the loo. At the start of the series I suggested that Aus. would win the series 2-1 because SA did not have a batsman capable of destroying an attack a la Warner. I claim no great prescience, it's the first time in 50 years of watching Test cricket I've been right. @Greatest_Game - In an earlier post you mentioned that you were currently undergoing chemo. Having had a scare myself last year I can understand where you're coming from. Best wishes and I look forward to resuming hostilities next tour.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (March 6, 2014, 5:28 GMT)

To the Australian fans we won lets be gracious lets not turn in to a Thosar. Having a go at South Africa playing for a draw is low. They lost 3 quick wickets at the start of the last innings and had to make a choice right there and then. Who believes 500 from 130 overs is achievable with 7 wickets in hand? At that stage they had one option and to be singled minded about it. I admire there determination in nearly pulling it off and find it off poor taste to ridicule that effort. South Africa in recent years has benefited greatly by that single minded focus, and such rear guard action ultimately won them a series in Australia. The cricket wasn't boring there was still a lot of theatre about it and people will be talking about this game for years to come, as they still talk about that day in Adealaide.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 5:25 GMT)

Australia. You came, you saw, you conquered. Gutted that the Proteas could not do more but you dominated us for most of the series - it would have been unfair if you did not win in the end. Complete respect for your team and the Aussie spirit. That was one of the best and hardest series I have ever watched. Thank you Cricinfo for all the coverage, articles and ability to banter down here in the comments section. Cheers all.

Posted by SherjilIslam on (March 6, 2014, 5:20 GMT)

Posted by Thegimp on (March 6, 2014, 4:01 GMT): "11. BCCI don't show India's overseas tours on television in India." Can't you people keep India out for once..we have just witnessed a historical game instead of congratulating teams, you find a way to bring India in here. Sorry...but this looks extremely pathetic!!

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (March 6, 2014, 5:14 GMT)

@thozar- re Clarke ,for some1 who walked into poss. greatest team of all,surrounded by legends/superstars as young man looking to make name for self-and practically winning everything cricket has to offer v early-he comes up as 1 of most gracious around.

Posted by SherjilIslam on (March 6, 2014, 5:12 GMT)

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (March 6, 2014, 4:35 GMT) : Got to say..I admire your honesty. @AustraliaFans - Congrats, you were the deserving winners and I am delighted to see team Australia's redemption to the top. @SAFans - You people can take pride in the way SA played this game. My Respect for SA team have grown manifold with this performance. This series was a delight for genuine cricket fans and I enjoyed every moment of it. A Big thank you to all....

Posted by dunger.bob on (March 6, 2014, 5:12 GMT)

@ TommytuckerSaffa: "we will be back". As an Aussie, I'd be prepared to bet my house on that. Anyway, Elvis hasn't actually left the building yet. You're still #1 (and rightly so imo) and we have a lot of work to do to overtake you. All your blokes really have to do is avoid too many series losses and you could very well stay there.

Posted by indiasupbangalore on (March 6, 2014, 5:01 GMT)

Well SA deserved to loose even though fighting for a draw is noble and all, did not find anyone other than philander cared about scoring runs, they have already given up the thoughts about winning, if SA had played for a win may be they would have drawed this test. I loved the way aussies fought, they deserve to no 1 team in tests for sure. Philander should be in SA team just for his batting absolutely brillant innings.

Posted by Prachin on (March 6, 2014, 4:54 GMT)

What a coincidence. David Warner & Joe Root were declared MOM & MOS on the same day for identical score line of series with for their own country 2-1 in different formats of the game. Great resistance by SA. Never say die attitude of Aussies. Reminded of old aussie teams of Allan Boarder & Steve Waugh.......... Ye Dosti hum nahi chhodenge................

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (March 6, 2014, 4:54 GMT)

@Thozar-Dont think any Aussie/fan-whether they see them as no.1 or not-see the team as 'great' let alone-in wildest dreams-as a match for mighty Aus of past.Except if born in past 1 year!But all will pride recent accomp. and are as good as any team now.

Posted by PrasPunter on (March 6, 2014, 4:53 GMT)

I would repeat that SA, Aus and Eng must play a test championship , playing each other at home and away - This will be a mouth-watering contest - Test cricket being played by the best of the test-playing teams. Wish it happens !!

Posted by sachin_equal_to_bradman on (March 6, 2014, 4:50 GMT)

This is what the difference is !!! We indians should learn from these 2 top tteams...Congrats Aussies for doing the impossible and congrats for Saffars to show such unbelievable fight.... We indians might have produced great batting legends but as a team especially in tests we need learn and do a lot to stand in the league of Aus And SA....Congrats and Thanks for such a wonderful display!!!

Posted by Chris_P on (March 6, 2014, 4:38 GMT)

@Ajith Paul Isaac To have NO idea about cricket is one thing, to advertise it to the word amazes me. Why do you?

Posted by Chris_P on (March 6, 2014, 4:36 GMT)

@Thozar. "The West Indies were gentlemen even when they lost"?? You obviously don't recall how they reacted when Australia beat them there in '95 or having bowlers elbow umpires when they were losing as they did in NZ!!.. Grow up, sunshine!

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (March 6, 2014, 4:35 GMT)

Congrats Aussie fans, from a Saffa fan. Only 4 overs to survive to draw the series but in true honestly, we didn't deserve to draw this series as we were totally outplayed in 2 of the 3 games.

SA need to do some rebuilding after losing their captain and Kallis but we will be back.

Posted by PrasPunter on (March 6, 2014, 4:32 GMT)

@Yankydoodle, I can say for sure this Aus team is humble in victory and gracious in defeat. Clarke said as much when he asserted that the team has to go a long way to be where SA currently is.

Posted by PrasPunter on (March 6, 2014, 4:28 GMT)

@thozar, it is clear that you don't watch or follow the game much. After the match, Clarke was in a lengthy conversation with Smith , Steyn and all and showed his admiration for them . Even when we lost the 2nd test, Clarke was gracious to admit the defeat. So unless you give us a solid proof of what you said, yours will be counted as yet another piece of rant that made no sense !!

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (March 6, 2014, 4:28 GMT)

@AshesErnie- Bef. pointing @ other teams of on field conduct,vile/petulance-not least of all Aussies...surprise-pls. look @ your own Stuey Broad and his pretty boys.Founders of game-Eng.For all that they still havent fig. out to play it well!Pls publish.

Posted by harshthakor on (March 6, 2014, 4:26 GMT)

Few teams in the history of the game have ever posessed the mental tenacity,positivity and fighting spirit of the Aussie team.In many ways we are reminded of Ian Chappel's 1974 unit.They simply comeback like a tiger out of the bush.

Posted by harshthakor on (March 6, 2014, 4:13 GMT)

Hearties congrats to the Australian taem,who are to me the best test team in the world at the moment.Few teams ever have reflected such an intense fighting spirit and they blazed themselves to glory like few teams have ever done.Australian cricket was at a low ebb and the team literally ressurected themselves from the grave after a series of successive defeats in India and England and a home series against the Proteas.Few teams have ever made such a spectacular comeback like the Kangaroos did last summer in the Ashes.Above all inspite of inexperience this team proved the importance of the ingredient of temperament ,attitude and performing as a cohesive unit.

South Africa were gallant losers and came back magnificiently in the 2nd test.Overall the series was a victory for the game and continued the thread of the unrivalled intensity of contest between the 2 titans.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 4:10 GMT)

Brilliant stuff, Ryan Harris! He is an indefatigable spirit that illustrates why sports is not just pastime but an inspiring expression of what human spirit and character can achieve despite all odds presented by nature or man made. It was fitting that Harris unplugged the dogged Steyn who was perhaps his mirror image in more ways than one. And to think that some thought Harris shd be rested before this Test began!

Posted by Ally323 on (March 6, 2014, 4:06 GMT)

Well done Australia.

What a game! The aussies have broken the winning streak of SA.

I think AB really showed his guts in this game and stood their for ages, with 8 men crowding the crease he played every ball to perfection.

hats off to the Proteas! we will be back!

Posted by __PK on (March 6, 2014, 4:04 GMT)

Greatest_Game, SA have won the last two whats? Nothing, from what I can figure out. Certainly not the last two series in Australia.

Posted by Thegimp on (March 6, 2014, 4:01 GMT)

Sad thing was that Clarke declared three overs too early!!! We could have seen three more overs of swashbuckling batting!!!

Things Learnt: 1. Mitch is pearless at the moment. 2. Harris is Thor 3. Davey Warner scores a run for every stupid comment he makes. 3. Steyn on a roll is unstopable 4. Philander's average flatters him. 5. AB is sheer class. 6. Morkel is scary but dumb. 7. Everyone loves Smith. 8. Lyon needs the batsman to come at him. 9. Doolan can catch. 10. Leeman knows cricket and people. 11. BCCI don't show India's overseas tours on television in India. 12. Shane Warne is still catching up on sleep after his test and nightclub career 13. SA fans shouldn't count their chickens before they hatch. 14. Australia don't need Watson. 15. I would love to hear David Lloyd chatting up a woman in a bar. BYO bucket 16. Cricket doesn't need Ian Chappel to commentate (thought I would throw that one in there). 17. Both teams should play off for the Ponting Kallis Cup.

Posted by AussiePhoenix on (March 6, 2014, 3:55 GMT)

SA have tremendous strength, determination and skill, throughout their whole team. So they should not be praised for playing for a draw. They chose to not win, right from the start of the 4th innings, perhaps even while still bowling in the third. That is what is wrong with modern cricket. As talented as SA are they deserved to lose for not backing their talent. Watching Australia try to get 10 wickets on a dead pitch was fascinating, gut wrenching. Watching SA bat was boring, they didn't even try. Amla, AB, Faf, Duminy - all highly capable. Imagine the game it could have been if in those last 5 overs SA only needed 20 more runs to win? The pressure on Oz bowlers would have been immense. SA could have scored the runs - Australia scored 800 runs for 12 wickets, it was a batsmens pitch. The best team in the world were totally outplayed in their own backyard after stomping on us in the 2nd Test. Well done Australia, long live competitive winning cricket.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 3:49 GMT)

Are we seeing a new Australian juggernaut rising out of the "ashes" of the old?

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (March 6, 2014, 3:45 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge -Good to see you back!! Long while since Ashes,mate and hope the memories have faded- 5-000-:) Aus meanwhile pocket another series.How's Eng doing?Last I heard they're in the W Ind battling them in ODIs.And enjoying a bit of sun too!-:)

Posted by wapuser on (March 6, 2014, 3:35 GMT)

If I was a south african I would be embarassed. Playing for draws on fourth day on a batsmens paradise is a disgrace and I think the south african people are embarrassed and ashamed of the way their team plays cricket. It shows with no one wanting to go to game to see the supposed no 1 team in the world play. It is so obvious. Apparently u could of got a box seat for 20 bucks at cape town yesterday. And then u look at at aus and we get 100,000 seat arenas sold out. Every year. If graeme smith wasnt retiring only the few aussie supporters would be there yesterday. I had respect for SA cricket but aus monstered them this series. We made this 'no1 team' look mediocre at best in their backyard. And the only reason aus lost no 1 ranking is coz we hired a south african to coach. Mickey arthur the saboteur. But he is gone. Banished. And now aus will resume their rightful place as the TRUE no 1 CRICKET playing team in the world

Posted by dunger.bob on (March 6, 2014, 3:34 GMT)

@ Thozar: What's you interpretation on why India is despised then.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 3:34 GMT)

RHINO make victory for Australia.thanx to all Australian team.ein the series .GREAM SMITH last he fell from direfic MITCH bowling.now Australia are grown up new aus to point for ME CLARKE .

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 3:31 GMT)

What Classic? Don't get over the moon. Even India played like champions in SA when Steyn went wicketless for more than 50 overs. Only two players in SA who can make a difference-Steyn & Kallis. They combined to win against India. When Steyn produced an inspired spell they won against India and 2nd test against Aus. This Test was an anticlimax as there was no Kallis and Steyn did not bowl as he was injured. So please stop canonizing AUS heroes. One thing is clear... Short fast bowling cannot be handled by any one in world cricket be it AUS or SA batsman. India should take real fast bowlers to these countries and train them to bowl at their heads and throat. Then we have a chance to win overseas. The stupid mistake India made was to bench Umesh Yadav and let Zaheer Khan play the test matches.

Posted by Chris_P on (March 6, 2014, 3:19 GMT)

I said the same to the English, who were not as bad as many pointed out, this South African team is still the standard to match and beat, they are undeniably deserved of their #1 status simply by the record over the past few years. Are we on our way to that position? I hope so, but there are still a few boxes to be ticked by us. These matches against the Boks are tough, mostly very tense with both teams giving everything. When you got players like ABD & Amla in your team, you are never going to be bad. Given we are still in rebuilding stage, this series victory stands out as something special as we have not had the same high quality personnel as other series over there. Rhino Harris, you are a true warrior!

Posted by Webba84 on (March 6, 2014, 3:18 GMT)

@thozar Mate, Clarke has always shaken hands with the opposing team and also says nice things about them in the press conference afterwards, frequently before the series too. The guy aint perfect but he is obviously trying (profuse apologies offered both on and off the field to Steyn yesterday is a fine example). If you dont have proof dont slander people please.

Posted by bjcm12 on (March 6, 2014, 3:12 GMT)

One of the greatest test matches that I have watched and Harris delivered the best at the right moment. Aussies are real thinkers.

Posted by vstrider on (March 6, 2014, 3:05 GMT)

Hats off to Australia great series win and well played...I was genuinely impressed with how hard this series was played on the field and how it turned to hand shakes and smiles after the matches, great to see it like this

Well done Australia ( from an England fan)

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (March 6, 2014, 3:03 GMT)

Thozar, "Also have you noticed that when Oz lose, Michael Clarke seldom says good things about the opposition and sometimes dont even shake hands with opposition players?"

No, I have never noticed that. In fact Clarke is always very gracious in defeat. It was great to see both him and Smith acknowledge the other team's performance.

Perhaps you are confusing Clarke for Dhoni. He almost never mentions the opposition in after-match comments, win, lose or draw. But hey, maybe that $36 million he earns every year has his attention occupied.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 2:57 GMT)

Hats off Smith as you've been a great captain and player , this coming from a Australian so hope the Aussies go on and win this test as they in a strong position , but if you get a ton in your last innings then I'm sure the world wouldn't be surprised. South Africa, the world's No.1-ranked side, when it seemed almost inevitable that Graeme Smith would be farewelled by his men with a fighting, fitting draw.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 2:56 GMT)

You have to feel for Vernon Philander. He held his end up, and would have seen it through, but his partners were not at the same skill level as he is. Thta's it, when you get past No.7. But Australia ARE BACK!

Posted by TeamRocker on (March 6, 2014, 2:52 GMT)

And people were saying test cricket was dead?

What a match! This is real cricket, with every player's guts, determination, fire and stamina tested. What an absolute champion Ryan Harris is. Credit to South Africa though, practically everyone in their team chipped in and ate up crucial overs and time. The Australians were given absolutely no wickets for free; they needed excellent deliveries to get rid of AB, Abott, Steyn, Morkel and even Faf. Duminy was a victim of some clever field settings, so you can't fault him either.

Just to highlight the South African resistance and resilience, here's the number of overs faced at the crease by each partnership, fourth wicket and onwards: 30.4 (184 balls) , 29.3 (177 balls) , 18.1 (109) , 17.5 (107), 17 (102) and 15 (90).

It's disappointing, of course, that this wasn't a 5 match series, but I'm not entirely certain I could have survived any more matches like this. Long live test cricket!

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 2:46 GMT)

"These included setting up the 414 runs chase against Australia at Perth and his series-clinching innings at Edgbaston in 2008. His role in setting up the famous 438 win over Australia in 2006 was also a performance never to be forgotten.

Posted by Meety on (March 6, 2014, 2:43 GMT)

@Chris_P - classic! Always great to revisit past stupidity! == == == As an Ozzy - I was always confident we could win the series. I was always wary of the steel in this Saffa team, so was not prepared to make brash statements. I feel SA still deserve the #1 ranking, & we sit well as #2. I don't believe there is much difference between the top 4 or 5 teams & depending on conditions there is a good chance any team can win. == == == As far as Tests are concerned - next stop Pakistan (via UAE). I will lead the call for O'Keefe to be included in the squad. Leading spin bowler in the Shield & would be a good option for Oz should we play 2 spinners. The UAE can be interesting in that some pitches are absolute roads - where 1,000 runs is possible, & then sometimes so uneven that 150 is tough going. Harris may not be available, but regardless - we need 2 spinners on tour - 1. Lyon & 2. SO'K!

Posted by aman15 on (March 6, 2014, 1:54 GMT)

What a series this has been. Only Australia could have comeback the way they did after the 4-0 mauling they received in india and ashes reverse they suffered in England in such a short span of time and finish the 2013-14 season on such an incredible high. I watched the last 20 overs and was literally on the edge of my seat as i desperately hoped that australia would seal the deal as they were deserving winners of the contest. But the saffers just won't fold up and when just 5 overs remained I started to feel that it would be deja vu for aussies after similar fightback was orchestrated by saffers at adelaide. but the final twist in tale was yet to come courtesy ryan harris. This series is definitive proof that test criciket is alive and kicking

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 1:24 GMT)

What a match. One for the history books. In my opinion, no one lost, the game of cricket was the ultimate winner. This is the way year cricket should be played.

Posted by one-down on (March 6, 2014, 1:13 GMT)

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

Told you so long before this series started... that we (Aus) would win as the South Africans seem to mess it up somehow when they come up against us. They do have a few good (some will already call them great - these days everyone is a great!) players but mentally they just do not cut the mustard against us! It's been proven time & time again. It's been documented in scorecards... all part of history.

Re.:Baiy on (March 5, 2014, 13:52 GMT) KP DID NOT retire... he was dropped from the English team!!! Get your facts straight before you post rubbish! And face the fact... the more aggressive team won the series!!! Hope is for the faint hearted; victory is for the team that plays aggressively and plays to win!

Posted by Shaggy076 on (March 6, 2014, 1:08 GMT)

Well done Australia. Harris and Johnson were awesome on this flat wicket. With this series victory, who cares about the past? We have just knocked over the number one side on there home turf. To the knockers - which at the time of posting this I see none, I'm sure by the time it is posted there will be several coming from the sub continent - I don't care take your sour grapes somewhere else. Nothing will take away from knocking off the champs. Time for people to accept that England a very good side were destroyed by an Australian side playing exceptional cricket and now the same to South Africa. We have beaten the teams that were #1 and #2 in the world prior to this Southern Hemisphere summer. The Aussies are learning all the time and we have now won a game on a flat deck designed to take away Johnson impact.

Posted by vik56in on (March 6, 2014, 0:49 GMT)

This was Test cricket at its finest. Riveting stuff with plenty of drama and excitement. All the players are fortunate to be a part of this Test match and its folklore. This is what cricket is all about .20twenty is nothing compared to the drama and edge of seat thrillers found only in Test cricket.

Posted by challagalla on (March 6, 2014, 0:46 GMT)

A most absorbing day of test cricket. Congrats to Australia for winning and to SA for fighting to the end. A big thanks to both teams for a very hard fought series of test cricket. I missed most of the live broadcast but will certainly watch the highlights.

Posted by cricketcarl on (March 6, 2014, 0:39 GMT)

shane warne seemed to be present during the game, what was that all about? had he been there during the first 2 tests? australias go slow period after rogers dismissal in the second innings, tactics? the three saf wickets to fall before tea was very exciting but no doubt it was going to be a long four sessions following, only thing that could have made it more exciting is if saf were in touch with the required amount of runs to win ok t20 time...

Posted by JJJake on (March 6, 2014, 0:35 GMT)

well played Australia. Tough, gutsy cricket. Harris is a very special bowler

Posted by WickedCricketer on (March 6, 2014, 0:26 GMT)

Alex Doolan almost cost Australia the series.

With the game for the taking, Australia in the box seat and quick runs needed, Doolan comes out and bats like Australia needs a draw.

His 37 runs made no difference to Australia's win and it was scored at the slowest rate of any Aussie batsmen in the 2nd innings. You know the guy us on another planet when nearly every other one of his team mates is scoring at double, triple and quadruple his strike rate.

Australia would have been better off if he had come in and got out for a duck or a quick fire 20 (he normally gets out in the 20's/30's anyway).

Doolan seems to have only one gear and no situational match awareness.

Ricky Ponting! Come back! All if forgiven!

Posted by RJHB on (March 6, 2014, 0:26 GMT)

Wrong again fans of other countries! Australia, you little bewdy!! Very lucky tho that horrendous overturned review didn't cost us the match. Facts: the on field umpire gave it out....to overturn the decision the third umpire must see CONCLUSIVE proof of an incorrect decision....Philander DEFINITELY edged the ball from glove, no question....there was a suspicion his glove was not touching the bat at point of contact with the ball....BUT, there was NO picture angle that CONCLUSIVELY showed daylight between bat and glove. The conclusion should've been to uphold the decision of the on field umpire, but this did not happen. Instead the third umpire made a decision based purely upon a GUESS!! So once again it's not the failure of the technology, though I'm no great fan of it, but another example of a monumental fail by an obviously inadequately trained official and it really isn't good enough.

Posted by dunger.bob on (March 6, 2014, 0:19 GMT)

Yeah yeah. This is all mildly interesting but the real question is 'has there ever been a better team than India?'

Posted by dunger.bob on (March 6, 2014, 0:12 GMT)

@ Baiy: Sorry mate but SA were never dominant. Not in the true sense of the word. Hard to beat, absolutely. Dominant. Not even close. As for the sportsmanship thing.

Posted by Happy_hamster on (March 5, 2014, 23:43 GMT)

Well Australia truly have risen like Lazarus since the India series, the 3-0 in England was as most England fans agreed not truly reflective of the balance 2-1 either way would have been about right, and the return series was a cakewalk. SA are now going through a similar process to other test teams with long term stalwarts retiring and Australia look in pole position to take over, England are at a very early stage in their redevelopment and India are ok in India say no more, Pak, SL, WI, NZ don't play enough tests and Zim/Bd frankly don't even come into the reckoning other than the occasional ODI win over a second rate touring XI.

Posted by wellrounded87 on (March 5, 2014, 23:39 GMT)

While i can appreciate the determination, grit and perserverance that playing for a draw entails I am completely and utterly against it. It's unsportsmanlike conduct as far as i'm concerned. I think if the 4th innings lasts a minimum 100 overs a result will come. If the team still has 10 wickets in hand but is 200 runs short at the close of play they lose.

This is a spectator sport and entertainment is a key part of the game. To completely shut up shop and play for a non result is against the nature of sportsmanship.

I'm glad Australia got the win, SA deserve to lose for their negative cricket and i'll say the same about any side that employs such tactics. Even worse was their draw against India when with a couple of wickets in hand they decided not to pursue a measly 5 runs/over for 4-5 overs for a world record victory and instead played for a non result

Non results are a stain on test cricket and one reason hit n giggle is a success

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (March 5, 2014, 23:16 GMT)

If Harris never plays cricket again, what a way to go out!

Posted by Tony_from_Oz on (March 5, 2014, 22:57 GMT)

Two titans slugged it out but I think Australia deserved its victory in the final analysis. I would have liked to see Clarke set SA an achievable target (and give himself more time to bowl). But who can complain with the drama of the deciding test? This Aussie team has a lot of talent and self belief. It's not perfect, but if we can hang together and realise its potential we can beat all-comers. Aussie cricket fans will salute Smith as he departs and celebrate this new Boof driven purple patch of Australian cricket.

Posted by ShutTheGate on (March 5, 2014, 22:49 GMT)

@gimme-a-greentop

So your saying that SA showed a fighting spirit by believing that it is impossible to win and therefore did not bother to try?

To me they would have been fighters if they at least attempted to go for the win and then went for the draw as plan B. They came out in the 4th innings going for the draw as plan A. They never backed their ability to win.

Posted by Orsoncarte on (March 5, 2014, 22:43 GMT)

What a game! What a series! I think Ryan Harris summed it up perfectly - "This was real test cricket." No more needs to be said.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 5, 2014, 22:28 GMT)

Strange comms re SA deadbatting etc. It worked for them in saving one of the tests in Australia when they then went on to win the series. They were never going to win (I thought Clarke could maybe have declared a little earlier although it worked well in the end) but to get a draw (had SA managed it) it would have felt like a win.

Also congrats Smith on a magnificent career.Strange (maybe a little sad) that considering his recent years record as captain he goes out on a series defeat. Now SA have had to replace 2 legends in about 6 months. Time will tell how they will cope

Posted by JG2704 on (March 5, 2014, 22:23 GMT)

Congratulations Australia.

You have to say Lehman could be coach of the millenium. Within a year or so of being whitewashed in India they are whitewashing England at home and beating SA in their back yard. Harris being fit and Mitch rediscovering his form have been huge but Lehman has not really had any massive new players to call upon. He has instilled something in those who have always been in/around the set up and now (re batting) they are not AS dependant on Clarke and they are playing a decent brand of attacking cricket and there's little reason to think they cant continue to chip away at SA's lead at the top of the rankings. As for the series , the one bad thing about it is that it's only 3 tests although I'm sure the neutrals (as they call themselves) will be rubbishing SA rather than praise Australia.

Posted by shramiac1 on (March 5, 2014, 22:14 GMT)

Rather fitting that it took a Ryno (rhino) to beat South Africa! lol

Great performance by everyone on both teams in the 4th innings! Some might say that the game may have finished earlier if Clarke had only set 420-450 and given SA a sniff but either way, a remarkable and memorable match! Hope Harris gets over his knee surgery and gets to play another few years!

Though he was captain on the losing team, Smith I think, will remember this game fondly. Happy retirement Graeme.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (March 5, 2014, 22:13 GMT)

Great effort by SA to fight so hard. Honestly I thought they would save it, but Ryan Harris who has a big heart was able to get the win.

Posted by SirDon99 on (March 5, 2014, 22:11 GMT)

Well done Aussies!! SA are to be commended for keeping Australia out for an extended period of time but, in the end, I think the better team won the series.

Posted by bren19 on (March 5, 2014, 21:59 GMT)

Great win Aussies but even more importantly - great series both teams! Loved the final day - determined fast bowlers -v- defiant batsmen -v- the clock. Great test cricket. At one point SA were scoring at less than 1 run per over and I was completely absorbed.

Posted by Mervo on (March 5, 2014, 21:53 GMT)

A great series. SA is only ever beaten by Australia these days and this result was a clear one with Australia well ahead overall. The player stats tell the story with certainty. SA are on the way down and Aust batting was better than anyone expected. SA have some big challenges ahead if they are to succeed, especially finding a decent spinner. To watch Johnson and Steyn embracing at the end was terrific. Both deserve our respect. Johnson after 38 overs could still hit 148kms/hr for his country. Such passion is rare, outside SA and Australia contests. Smiths exist was timely, but still emotive. He was a role model as a modern captain. I cant think of better.

Posted by DragonCricketer on (March 5, 2014, 21:50 GMT)

I love the Dave Warner story. From a low income government housing family with hard working parents to playing for Australia in a T20 against SA before playing any state 4 day games and blasting 86. Then becoming rich and famous and controversial. Then he bought his parents a new house and helped them so his father could retire early. Now man of the series ! What a guy !!!

Posted by dee1901 on (March 5, 2014, 21:47 GMT)

Shame it's not a 5 match series, can not figure out which team is better in a 3 match series like this !!

Posted by DragonCricketer on (March 5, 2014, 21:41 GMT)

Has anyone seen @GREATEST_GAME ? he has disappeared over the last 2 days. So many biased comments throughout the series and telling Aussie supporters they know nothing about cricket. (Hey BradmanBestEver I enjoy your astute comments) Oh well. Maybe he will be back when SA play a series against Bangladesh.

Posted by JJJake on (March 5, 2014, 21:30 GMT)

Amazing effort by Ryan Harris . Stamina , determination ,guts and never say die attitude is seen as being a bully by SA supports.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 21:21 GMT)

Told you..... draw? Oz batted too long? Too slow? I mean, I dislike Oz, but I dislike more the t20 fans who comment on cricinfo and literally know NOTHING about test cricket. It is too long and cerebral for you.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 21:08 GMT)

Clipped the top of off stump? I thought it was about a ball and a half, maybe two, down from the top. Mind you, it was late.

Posted by Digimont on (March 5, 2014, 21:05 GMT)

Firstly, I bid a fond farewell to Graeme Smith. I think the best thing I can say is that he epitomises all that is good about a South African cricketer (to an Australian pair of eyes). But for your nationality of birth and allegiance, you would have made a good Aussie captain. But for your allegiance, you would have made a brilliant England captain! Sad though, to see that you retire without the thing you perhaps most wanted removed from your CV, that of having never defeated Australia at home. Sadder still, that when the last chance presented itself, you didn't even go for it. Secondly, I hope it is not farewell to Ryan Harris. All the best of luck with the surgery (or surgeries), a speedy recovery and the continued desire to force your way back into the #1 bowling position in the Australian side, for however long you want to be there. You deserve to retire when you decide. At least if you never bowl again for Australia, your last spell was one to remember!

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 20:57 GMT)

Australia bowled well. South Africa batted extremely well.

I admire South Africa's ability to bat to save a match. it is something the current Australian side do not have, or at least, we are yet see it.

I Look forward to when South Africa tour Australia.

Posted by Chris_P on (March 5, 2014, 20:45 GMT)

More "expert posts" philander50 "GET IN THERE, how do my Aussie friends feel now, haha" (I would suggest far more happy than our pal Vernon), Andrew Jamieson "This SA side are class and you re going to have to do something really special to beat us at newlands." (Was that special enough?) I got so many from our friend, Albie, it would take 2 or 3 screens, but seeing as he joined FFL into retirement, we'll just recall his inane comments with a laugh. I would add, that although TommySaffa & Greatest_Game have given us some stick, they have always come back here & acknowledged our performances. Also, on behalf of our versions of these "experts" be sure it isn't the way most Aussie cricket fans feel either & apologize for any slurs they cast. test cricket, don't you love it.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 20:44 GMT)

May seem a negative thing to take away from this ... because it is... but really, Lyon isn't good enough. He gets talked up a lot because of the amount of his wickets but here's the proof and the pudding. Once again, in a situation where the other team shuts up shop and isn't attacking him (because usually our quicks are splendid so they're ALWAYS targetting Lyon) he doesn't just not get wickets, he doesn't look like getting them, he doesn't look like getting half chances. Even the much-maligned Hauritz had some nice attacking deliveries and knew how to make a batsman play.

Hopefully Muirhead comes along in the next couple of years. We need a real spinner for heaven's sake.

Posted by steve48 on (March 5, 2014, 20:44 GMT)

Really pleased for rhino, great memory for him regardless of his future. Hope he recovers in time for next ashes, and I am English!

Posted by Chris_P on (March 5, 2014, 20:39 GMT)

OK, time for that part where we review "expert past posts" for a chuckle. Muneeb_Dawood "Would be great to see Warner fail in both innings", (& if he scores a ton in each innings it would be???) Xolile, "If Mitch doesn't fire Australia has absolutely no chance" & "Can't wait to see them go after this test with their tails between their legs knowing just how far behind they are with us" (Classic) Keith Le Roux "If both teams play at 100%, Proteas will beat this current Aussie side every time" (Every time except this & the 1st test perhaps?), SHK1 "I have no doubt SA will win the series convincingly. Australia should realise that they are a mediocre side " )oh yeah, we are, aren't we?!!) SA_FAN315 "expect a SA victory against a team that even INDIA whitewashed in test & defeated in the odi series...i don't think any team that lost to india will bring much competition to world cricket in general.... AUS vs BANGLADESH would be a more intresting series" (Way to go, Einstein) More to come

Posted by MikeNQN on (March 5, 2014, 20:39 GMT)

Biggest disappointment of the series for me was Morkel averaging over 60 with the ball and Philander over 50. Even Lyon averaged 39. I hope Steyn stays fit or it could by a few long years ahead. That said their batting is still very strong even after losing 2 of the worlds top 10 batsman in Kallis and Smith.

Posted by Meety on (March 5, 2014, 20:32 GMT)

GREAT MATCH! How a title fight should be - well if there was so such thing in cricket! SA were as magnificent as you can be in defeat. The 240+ run margin is pretty irrelevant. Great that Test cricket can make up lost time over the remaining days - it helps to produce this - fantatstic. When Ryan Harris finally calls it quits on his career - I can't wait for his Bio, it will be fascinating to read about he went from being a journeyman Shield cricketer - dumped by his State, almost taking up a County-pro position to being arguably the best pace bowler in the world! Not to mention the battle with his deteriorating body. Magnificent. Sad to see Smith bow out on the losing end - but his boys did their best. Also have to say - whilst Lyon didn't get the wickets I thought he would, that leg slip catch off Duminy - BRILLIANT!

Posted by Kiap on (March 5, 2014, 20:29 GMT)

What a match! Warner batting at 100 mph for back-to-back tons. Steyn out with an injury on the first day but stonewalling more than an hour on the fifth day for the ninth wicket. Morkel inflicting grievous bodily blows on Clarke, who toughs it out and makes 150+ (and a duck). Australia batting at 10 runs an over in a Test! Biff's dramatic home ground farewell. South Africa holding on through four sessions with a brick wall. Mojo claiming 22 wickets over the 3 games but the series is still undecided. And with less than 30 balls left, the Rhino, out on his feet but unable to kneel, finishes it with 2 wickets in 3 balls!

We need to get a new Waugh-Smith trophy in place with 6 Tests every two years.

Posted by pat_one_back on (March 5, 2014, 20:24 GMT)

Do you have a permit for digging that deep Ryan Harris? Amazing end to a titanic battle between 2 very evenly matched teams. Conditions since the first test gave the hosts every possible chance, blunting their opponents strength of bounce. Rankings are over an horizon but today Aust stand (no please stay seated Ryan you've done enough mate) as the best test cricket team going around, that is indisputable. I just hope Ryano hasn't permanently injured himself for true to his word he left nothing on the field today and gained just reward for the tremendous pain & risk he's endured. Smith can be proud in the manner in which his team finally went down, great testament to the resolve he's demonstrated throughout an illustrious career.

Posted by RaviNarla on (March 5, 2014, 20:10 GMT)

Well Done Australia. I want Australia now to tour England and India and beat them there.

Posted by Chris_P on (March 5, 2014, 19:50 GMT)

@Protears, No Faff'd this time, just totally outplayed. A tense series with both team going hammer & tongs. Rhino Harris, you are a real warrior!

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (March 5, 2014, 19:17 GMT)

as Brydon said " it was a fittingly tight way for the campaign to end. Australia had the better of the series, but South Africa made them earn it. It was not until the last five overs of the last hour of the last day of the last Test of the series that the outcome was determined. And if every Test series was like that, the game would be in pretty good shape". congrats to the Saffers and Aussies for a truly compelling series AGAIN, test cricket at it's absolute best, one flogging apiece and a rumble in the jungle, bowlers on one leg, batsman getting hit, sledgers, retirements, this series had everything.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 19:09 GMT)

Great match with a worthy winner. Australia is the best Test team in the world, just waiting for the rankings to catch up.

Posted by thozar on (March 5, 2014, 18:54 GMT)

Also have you noticed that when Oz lose, Michael Clarke seldom says good things about the opposition and sometimes dont even shake hands with opposition players? But when they win they try to be all nice? But one thing common in both cases is that on the pitch they are not well behaved and show off as aggressors. That is why they are not liked much by the rest of the world. The mighty Windies were aggressive, they asked for no quarters and gave none. And they were winning most of the time. But still everyone liked them because they were for the most part gentlemen. Perhaps Oz should learn from that? They dont take a sport as a sport. It does not matter how talented you are, you have to be behave as good sportsmen on the field and off it. Some like Warner don't do either while some like Clarke come across as gentlemen off the field and exactly opposite on it.

So, Oz fans, bask in your glory but also learn to respect all teams.

cricinfo, please publish.

Posted by DJAbacus on (March 5, 2014, 18:54 GMT)

Australia beating a below par SA is just perfect. Do they stick or twist? Stick with an ageing and overachieving line up or twist and bring in their talentless youngsters. By the time they reach England in 2015 they will be in a total mess, while England will be a new machine, bursting with talent and ambition. England will win that series easily and normal Ashes service will be resumed.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (March 5, 2014, 18:51 GMT)

Well done Australia, deserved winners. Great series to watch. As an SA supporter I'm obviously disappointed with the performance this test but at least they showed some fight today. Close to saving it but can't argue with the result.

For my fellow SA supporters who are mentioning things like injured bowlers, reverse swing after 18 overs, bowling conditions - we didn't enjoy it when Aus fans brought up stuff like this after the 2012 series or the PE test so let's not go there.

Congrats again to Aus on a hard-fought series which was a good avert for test cricket.http://www.espncricinfo.com/south-africa-v-australia-2013-14/content/story/725497.html

Posted by thozar on (March 5, 2014, 18:49 GMT)

Well played both teams and congrats to Oz. This result shows that RSA is not the force they once were with the retirement of Kallis. Now Smith has also retired. Without Steyn, their bowling attack is also reduced to the level of the rest of the cricket playing world. While Oz played well, it is important to point out that Steyn was unavailable to bowl for the most part of the match and they also won a very important toss. If you notice all 3 matches, the team that batted first won by 200+ run margin. So, toss has been an important factor in this series and Smith blew it in the first test. These are not excuses as I am not a RSA supporter but an unbiased view of the game. While most Oz supporters wont agree, it is a fact that they are only a good team and by no means a great team.

Posted by gogoldengreens on (March 5, 2014, 18:40 GMT)

We need to have 5 test series Australia & South Africa they are always see sawing contests & both teams play hard but fair and don't roll over. At the moment with 3 tests the series just starts and it is over!

Posted by eggyroe on (March 5, 2014, 18:35 GMT)

So there we have it ,the greatest chokers in world cricket fail yet again.Maybe all teams have to bowl 90 overs per day instead of the fielding side wandering around the field with a negative attitude to prevent the opposition side from winning.The answer to this arrogant attitude by players to the paying public by not bowling 15 overs per hour is simple,at the end of each innings the match referee calculates the number of overs which should have been bowled in the time the innings lasted,if the overs bowled are under the number required,then the runs per over scored during that innings by the batting side are added to their total as extras.I'm sure this would gain the captains attention to ensure that 90 overs per day were bowled and the additional Half an Hour at the end of play is not there to make up for their tardiness in the execution of their duty to provide the paying public top class entertainment in exchange for their hard earned cash

Posted by swauzzie on (March 5, 2014, 18:34 GMT)

This match epidimises the reason I could never support any team other than Oz. The Saffers think that a draw is a good result. The Ozzies don't. If it ain't a win, it's not worth it, that's their slogan - & so it should be! There is NO glory in a draw, none at all. All this blocking nonsence ball after ball for hours on end. It's not honor, it's cowardace. Either go for a win or go down trying! Don't "hide behind your mums skirt" ie play for a draw!

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 18:28 GMT)

Hussain Kurawadawala: I agree with you. It was a day of absorbing test cricket. However, I feel that both de Villiers and du Plessis should have played their normal game exercising some caution only. Especially de Villiers was playing an innings totally out of character dead batting many deliveries. If they were playing their normal game they would not have got out that way, playing without much foot movement.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 18:19 GMT)

The difference is (rather was), in my opinion, in the mind. The SAs neither showed any killer instinct (may be except a fit Steyn) nor the "hunt ruthlessly in a pack" mentality. The Aussies had both these in plenty. Sometimes I am inclined to think that the Aussies should rather be named the Dingoes and not Kangaroos.

Posted by Beertjie on (March 5, 2014, 18:18 GMT)

Immensely proud of Rhino (again). Gutsiest bowler I've seen. Hope his op and rehab work out and we see him bowling next summer. Phew! that was a close one!

Posted by AshesErnie on (March 5, 2014, 18:07 GMT)

Aussie behaviour towards the umpires and opponents - du Plessis when out, Philander when not out in particular - was disgraceful. Clarke, Warner and Haddin to the fore, unsurprisingly, a vile bunch of individuals no matter how good at cricket they are. Like Ponting all over again. ICC should come down hard on them, but obviously won't.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 17:56 GMT)

Sanity restored. SA was never a deserving no.1 test team. Despite having fantastic 2 in 1 players like Ab de Villiers and Kallis, they never created the buzz that is associated with teams like Australia and India. Aussies have put them in place, once again. So much for a team that prides itself on playing on green tops!!! Its much vaunted top order, supposedly the best against fast bowling , crumbled without a fight.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 17:55 GMT)

even being an aussie hater I gotta say they deserve the series. def they were not the second best. surviving is much easier than scoring .. nd you cudnt match that too saffers. as somebody mentioned, points should be credited when a test ends up in draw hence the dominating team wud have something to enjoy. cant imagine if this one ended up in a draw and the honours being shared equally. aussies are just too good at the moment. hard truth to digest

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 17:49 GMT)

It was fitting for Ryan Harris, one of the unsung heroes of last 3 series for Aussies to finish off the game. Remember he took the last wicket in Ashes 5-0 triumph at Sydney. He was the MoM in that match and although David Warner deserves that honor this time, Harris was the man of the moment. Lets hope he will make another come back after the surgery. If not for injuries he would have attained the status of one of the all time greats among pace bowlers. SA has lot of rebuilding to do following retirements of Smith and Kallis if they are to retain No.1 status.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 17:43 GMT)

As an Aussie, I was thrilled to see the last 2 wickets fall!!! As a cricket fan, I was thrilled to see S.A resist the way they did. Any other team would have probably been bowled out by lunch. I loved the 5-0 Pommie bashing but was this was something special. For starters you're up against the No1 team in the world, your up against a tail that is more stubborn that Jason Gillespie batting. They didn't give away not one single wicket!!! The Oz bowlers had to throw everything including the kitchen sink and prevailed at the end because of their never say quit spirit. Excellent coaching from Boof at the end to tell Ryno to go round the wicket and take that final wicket. I enjoyed every moment of S.A's resistance and do not think anything less of them dead batting all day. THIS IS TEST MATCH CRICKET, the finest of all forms.

I take off my hat to the Marvellous Graeme Smith and salute of of the games finest. Good luck with whatever you do champ and I hope your little girl finds good health.

Posted by stormy16 on (March 5, 2014, 17:42 GMT)

What a fantastic series and what a dramatic end and what a show by the Aussies. SA were no where in the game from day one and Aus were simply too good in the end. SA should be disappointed in not being able to hold for a draw given Aus declared both innings and SA didn't make 300 in either. With the batting line up SA have that was simply unforgivable. Take nothing away from the Aussies, remember they got hammered in the 2nd test but came to play in CPT and blew SA away. Runs and wickets came from everyone and the Aus have taken a mighty step towards the top step - something that wouldn't even be said in a joke by hardest Aus supported at the beginning of the Ashes. They don't have any retirements coming just more pace bowlers to pick from. They need a few batters to come right but you don't need to search much when you declare at 500 and 300 against the best attack in the world. The Aussies are back and look out the rest!

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 17:41 GMT)

Brilliant character showed by Harris. He proved he is a TEAM MAN playing for his team , his country and delivered when it mattered. Warner, Clarke , Johnson,smith all played very good cricket but for me it was Harris who delivered when it mattered. It will be a Great loos it he can't play in future but i consider myself lucky to witness such passion from a great warrior.

Also good bye to Smith and congratulation on a wonderful career we will miss you..

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 17:37 GMT)

Salute The Rhino!! Finally SA are defeated in their own backyard!! Congrats Aussie!! You are the best!!

Posted by Yankydoodle on (March 5, 2014, 17:27 GMT)

I'm fuming. Is everyone still forgetting that SA lost the test by 245 runs ? That's an absolute hammering. And twice in the series now that they were hammered.

Everyone is deluding themselves. This wasn't a great test match. This was an inevitable hammering. It was amusing to see how far SA have come to save the test. But by blocking ? Blocking ? Really ? Taking the fight to Australia would have been far the wiser strategy.If would've made the test an incredible match. Even if the target was way out of reach. You really wear a team down by being positive. David Warner comes to mind.

It's really pathetic cricket and strategy from South Africa. The no.1 team in the world should not play like this. If there's one thing the Aussie team and supporters can learn from SA, it's be humble in victory.

Australia will fully deserve no.1 when they get it. South Africa are on a downward spiral.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 17:26 GMT)

Ryan Harris, what a cricketing warrior he is! The epitome of a never give up athlete, words cannot say enough about his efforts for Australia over the last dozen matches, a massive part of the turnaround. I really hope he can front up again next summer, but even if that was his last ever spell for Australia it was a heck of an effort and an incredibly skillful one at that!

SA put up one tremendous effort today but I think in the end our boys earned their win and it was nice to pull it off after the Adelaide draw. We have gone and beaten the world champions in their own backyard and it was an almighty achievement!

Can not wait to see Australia back in the Baggygreens again soon, this team is most definitely going upwards and it'll be fantastic to enjoy the ride and see if they can get to the top!

Posted by thirdmanboundary on (March 5, 2014, 17:26 GMT)

No question Australia deserved this series. Great team effort. I expect them to become number one, but they still have to show the long-term consistency that the SAffers established (crucially, by winning in England and at least drawing in India, as SA did). SA outplayed and unfortunate to play last 2 tests with a strike bowler injured. It hurt especially at Newlands. I don't doubt Australia would have won in Adelaide had they not been an injured bowler down. What might have happened at Newlands had Steyn been able to bowl? Great test series. Australia are looking seriously good, SA has much rebuilding to do. Lots of bowling talent in the wings, esp. left-arm seamers (Hendricks, Parnell, young Radaba). Philander was the biggest disappointment as a bowler this series, though he batted admirably. Morkel? Bowls with fire but without intelligence: he doesn't seem to know how to mix it up and work a batsman out. SA batting more of a concern than the bowling.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 17:24 GMT)

A great test series and good for the game. Several years ago interest in cricket began to languish. There were questions even about test cricket with its five day format. The last few years have seen some riveting test matches and it is here to stay. The ICC has to eliminate the two test series that is often played now. Does not make sense- why not a three match series? If there is a lack of time why not three tests & three 50 over matches?

Posted by creebo777 on (March 5, 2014, 17:22 GMT)

Aussies deserves to win,even in australia they outplayed us,they just gona get better,rayn harris had a average series but in the 3rd test he was brilliant.david warner killed us what a player!!! Hope to see some new faces in the protea set up,alviro,smith,morkel,duminy out

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 17:19 GMT)

To me this is far more satisfying then the recent Ashes win. We have beaten the #1 team on their own patch, and boy did we have to earn it. Also glad to see Ryno have his day in the sun. I believe all this hype around Mitch has undermine his contribution to the team. Well done and best of luck with the operation. Also big congrats to Graeme Smith. You probably deserved a better send off but you have an impeccable record and reputation that will echo through cricket history. Kick back and enjoy your retirement mate.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (March 5, 2014, 17:19 GMT)

@ ShutTheGate wites "I'm looking forward to SA touring Australia next - I'm sure we'll return the favour of giving them no warm up matches!"

I'm also looking forward to that tour. As SA have won the last two - the only team since the Windies to do so - three series wins in a row will be truly pleasing, whether the warm up matches are rained out, or not!

I am surprised that you believe that SA is sooooo powerful that it controls the weather, and deliberately "rains out" Australia's practice games. However, what is of much more interest is the question that if SA had such power, why did they not simply "rain out" day 5 of this match, and make it a draw? Have you an answer? I doubt you do!

Posted by Great_Nate on (March 5, 2014, 17:14 GMT)

Classic comments. People see what they want to see in cricket. It was a good hard fought series and the aussies deserved to win. They were on top for two whole tests. There was a radio commentator saying a draw would be fair because Australia batted first in two tests and SA only in one - But Smith won the toss in the first test and sent Australia in. SA lost because they were negative from the start. Only in the second test did they do anything positive.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 17:14 GMT)

South Africa fought out till the end but just could not draw. Earlier they did not win a test against India which they should have won. Now they should have drawn a test which they have managed to loose. The Aussies are very tough and do not give up till the last ball. Had it been India, they would have given up the test long ago. The difference between India and Australia is one is a nation which has a killer instinct while the other is a Softie, While one is very aggressive, the other lacks self belief and lacks ambition to be a Winner. I feel for SA since they are truly chokers in the end.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 17:12 GMT)

dont think smith should retired rit now...............!!!!

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 17:10 GMT)

To win this game for us, a man with a broken comes in to bowl his 6th spell, and hits the stumps twice in 3 balls with 140kph yorkers. It is great to see Australia back where we have all been sued to seeing. A lot of skill involved too. This pitch didn't have anything for the bowlers on the last day, and they manufactured six wickets with six terrific deliveries. This was just great Test-match cricket. And South Africa have finally been vanquished!!But i do feel for Graeme Smith who had to go with a defeat just like our Punter had to..

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 17:06 GMT)

what a game . great resistance from the SA lower order . Lyon proving ineffective on a albeit docile pitch 5th day . selectors will notice that for sure . big heart of harris pulling them through after a very nervy last few sessions . anyone that thinks test cricket is boring should be shot .

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 17:05 GMT)

So glad that Australia won. I have nothing against SA as a country or the players as people but SA play extremely negatively and I'm glad Attack has defeated Defence.

The problem with Australia is that their bowlers are their best players, meaning that it is difficult to play well in the subcontinent. However if batsmen are your best players like SA and England, that's useful everywhere. Australia cannot be #1 until they find 2 quality batsmen because I do not think Doolan is one and Rogers is unfortunately too old and washed up. He should've been in the team sooner

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 17:05 GMT)

So glad that Australia won. I have nothing against SA as a country or the players as people but SA play extremely negatively and I'm glad Attack has defeated Defence.

The problem with Australia is that their bowlers are their best players, meaning that it is difficult to play well in the subcontinent. However if batsmen are your best players like SA and England, that's useful everywhere. Australia cannot be #1 until they find 2 quality batsmen because I do not think Doolan is one and Rogers is unfortunately too old and washed up. He should've been in the team sooner

Posted by MarkTaffin on (March 5, 2014, 16:59 GMT)

Negative view of Ryano's future. We should all, regardless of nationality, pray he gets on the Test match field again. There is enough average fast bowling around lauded without justification as world class. Ryano is the real thing!

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (March 5, 2014, 16:55 GMT)

We have silenced all the doubters - after flogging England we play the top ranked team on their own dung heap and win 2-1. It is clear that Australia is a test cricketing force now.

Well done Aussies!! And most important - well done MJ - what strength of character to come back in the face of great adversity - such is the unique Aussie spirit that other countries envy

Posted by tom120 on (March 5, 2014, 16:55 GMT)

Kudos to Australian team for winning the series. And, applause for SA team for getting it to the very last session, and that too just 4 overs remaining.Feel better after Aussie won. An elated Aussie fan here.

Posted by tiger_zaid on (March 5, 2014, 16:48 GMT)

What a match!! South Africans still cant blv they lost the match. Aussie seamers were pure lethal...it was indeed a clash of the titans & Australia came out victorious... goodbye Graeme Smith. We will miss you...long live test cricket....

Posted by rajkirp on (March 5, 2014, 16:45 GMT)

Wow. What a series. Tense all the way to the last overs of the match. Disappointed that it was a 3 test series. It should have been a 5 test series.

Posted by GrindAR on (March 5, 2014, 16:43 GMT)

Good fight from SAf. Tea break seems energized bowlers and tired out batsmen...

SPD Smith sniffing Faf was the turning point. MC kept his cool and his bowling changes worked in the last session wonderfully. They got their last 3 wickets in that session. I expected some resistance from Morkel. Surely SA need a David Warner in their lineup, who can bravely play attacking shots to disperse such fielding setup. Again QDC can be the one fitting the bill for long term. CSA need to groom him well and primarily work with his temperament.

Posted by Mintsweety on (March 5, 2014, 16:41 GMT)

Well done Aus, great cricket. Respect to SA, gutsy effort boys.

Posted by GoCho on (March 5, 2014, 16:40 GMT)

Feels odd..I am an Indian but I was crying when Harris took the last wicket with his dodgy knee! Can anyone play test cricket the way the Aussies do? Cricket fans owe a lot to the Saffers and the Aussies for one of the most entertaining test series in modern era. Even better than the 2005 Ashes! Dont think I would have lasted 5 tests though but would really like if the Aussies shorten the test series vs India (which would be one-sided anyway) and squeeze in a couple with South Africa.

Posted by Green_and_Gold on (March 5, 2014, 16:40 GMT)

This was a good demonstration of a team with a history of digging in going up against an aggressive attack that could rip apart any side in world cricket. What a fight and congratulations to the Saf batsman who put the fight to Aus. Got a bit worried as the overs were getting closer to zero remaining. Great stuff to watch. Well done to the green and gold!

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 16:36 GMT)

Well done to Australia - well played. Unfortunately, SA are still number one.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 16:34 GMT)

of all the teams that came against south africa, australia were the ones who wanted this the most. i wont lie, i'm the biggest supporter of south africa, and can ofren times be biased towards that fact. but thos time, kudos to australia, they really wanted this and thier attitude showed that. i still believe south africa is the best side in the world, not because they win on foreign pircges et al, but the overall mentality of the squad. having made millions myself i had to learn and understand that its passion and desire that get you there, but you have to have tbe right mentality to sustain it. australia wanted this more and it showed, they had a win at all cost, and its true in sports as on business, fortune favours the brave. well done oz on this win

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (March 5, 2014, 16:33 GMT)

Jb633, yeah sorry I wasn't more gracious. Certain things about the modern game push my buttons. Just to clarify, I certainly don't think SA can't bat, bowl or field. My comments were more about their perfotmance in this game, and performing poorly till they shut up shop and blocked for a draw. Certainly they should be given great credit for their determination. However I think the flat pitch really made dead batting relatively easy. AUS scored 800 runs for 12 wickets, about four of those lost trying to smash runs. The curator didn't quite get the balance bat/ball right.

Posted by StarveTheLizard on (March 5, 2014, 16:32 GMT)

These two teams should play five-test series! I'm glad they don't though. I barely survived today. Another game like this would do me a real mischief!

Posted by Vitruvius on (March 5, 2014, 16:30 GMT)

Aussies show how its done! What magnificent cricket it was!

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 16:27 GMT)

Now just waiting for the customary: "wait until Aus come to India, we will show you....."

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 16:26 GMT)

Ryan Harris is the ultimate Australian sporting hero! So much guts and courage to bowl the way he does under the duress he carries, he is the true spirit of Aussie cricket! Great series, great summer of cricket for us Australians! 7 wins 1 loss, Warner plundered over 1000 runs, Johnson took 59 wickets in 8 tests and Steve Smith continued to grow as a player. Boof Lehmann you champion!

Posted by Albie_Hanekom on (March 5, 2014, 16:25 GMT)

Boy do I feel like a goose. My apologies to Australian fans, I admit you guys are better than us now. You are deserved winners after thrashing us in 2 out of 3 games in our own backyard. I called you guys arrogant and cocky and yet there I was after the second test carrying on like a hypocrite, saying we would thrash Australia in Cape Town. I guess cricket is the great leveller and I've certainly learnt not to run my mouth anymore (you may have noticed I've been quiet this match out of humiliation). Congrats to Australia, I only hope my fellow South African supporters and even the English supporters who said that Australia would get taught a lesson in this series show some humility now.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 16:21 GMT)

Congratulations Australia! Australia played better and won simple as that. The last series these 2 sides played SA delivered the knock out blow and this time Aus. Aus showed they are leading the pack for no2 spot in Test cricket and SA showed y they are the best side in the world by taking the test to the last day without their spearhead unluckily missing out for injury. 3 test are not enough to separate these teams. And it takes more than a series to become no1 in the world. SA achieved that throughout years of consistency 1 bad game does not change anything. SA rules. Thanks to Graeme (Biff) Smith. We will miss you.

Posted by PrasPunter on (March 5, 2014, 16:20 GMT)

Rhino !! You big beauty !! Fantastic win for us !! God bless Aus !!!

Posted by lillee4PM on (March 5, 2014, 16:20 GMT)

WOW!! What a great match and amazing series. Real fighting spirit in both teams but a well deserved win for Australia in the end. Ryan Harris kept bowling until his legs nearly fell off and in my book should have been man of the match.

Posted by t20-2007 on (March 5, 2014, 16:20 GMT)

hahah...@ Baiy...Mate sour grapes...you have lost the series and will lose the No 1 ranking soon

Posted by disco_bob on (March 5, 2014, 16:19 GMT)

Smith might have not done well in his final test and lost the series to boot, but as least he will be remembered going out in one of the most classic encounter anyone could have hoped for. Not very impressive bowling for Philander but his batting almost saved the series. I'll remember it for Clarke's daddy ton after getting beaten up. And Harris with his knee joints crumbling as he ran in for his final over knocking over the winning wickets. It feels like ages since Warner got his almost run a wicket big tons.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (March 5, 2014, 16:19 GMT)

No England fan likes to see Australia winning but that is well-deserved. A valiant effort by SA but just too much to do. Steyn's injury certainly didn't help and such a close game may have been drawn otherwise but such is the way of international cricket. I'd say that this game is probably Australia's best as a team recently, with a number of batsmen and bowlers contributing rather than Johnson carrying the majority of the weight. The batting is starting to look more consistent, most certainly in part because of the confidence they would derive from the knowledge that their bowlers are pretty sure to do the business, which is rather ominous. They're still not up to the standard of the great Aussie teams of the past but, despite the rankings, they are playing like a #1 team right now. I think we've seen in this series what the loss of Kallis has meant to SA and losing Smith will hurt them further. Australia may still struggle in the subcontinent but look the best team overall right now.

Posted by Where_Art_Thou_Test_Cricket on (March 5, 2014, 16:15 GMT)

All done and dusted...and what a series it has been!

Congratulations to Australia and South Africa for putting up a memorable 1.5 months of test cricket

Not looking forward to the lackluster series that are sure to follow until these two meet again

Posted by ScottStevo on (March 5, 2014, 16:15 GMT)

Can someone please point me in the direction of the Ryan Harris fan club...

Posted by keralite on (March 5, 2014, 16:15 GMT)

Congratulations to both the teams for giving us a thriller and giving the young fans a chance to know what real cricket is. (No disrespect to T20). Shame this series is only 3 matches.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (March 5, 2014, 16:12 GMT)

Congratulations to Australia on winning this series. SA should look at themselves and ask - do they deserve their so called no.1 ranking for getting hammered at home by a team that has the habit of getting hammered overseas as recently as in 2013 - 0-4 in India and 0-3 in England. The way these two teams struggled on doctored pace friendly wickets, I don't see how this SA or Australia can travel with any confidence overseas to India where we have spin-friendly tracks. It'll be a surprise if their batsmen, especially Aussie batsmen, can get bat on ball when the spinners are on. Congratulations to Australia on winning a series overseas at last after 2 years. I hope India too shows some improvement like your team.

Posted by priceless1 on (March 5, 2014, 16:11 GMT)

Now all of a sudden that "SA show the stuff of champions" article after the second Test from Ms Moonda (after the second Test) looks little premature to say the least , the truth is SA is no where near the class of this Aussie team :D

Posted by shot274 on (March 5, 2014, 16:10 GMT)

Amazing match and series! For those who think that this wasnt watchable perhaps baseball would be an alternative sport. The ICC rankings are over a period of time. However teams have undergone huge changes during the past few months. SA without Kallis and Smith will need to regroup and find irreplaceable players. England are dismantled by a combination of MJ and their selectorial wisdom. Australia are resurgent due to an entire team being galvanised by the rebirth of Johnson. For me they are currently the No 1 team in the world and the one to beat. The margin of supremacy is not as it was in the Mcgrath Warne era or the Windies of the 80s ofcourse but they have become the major force in test cricket. Indian fans may disagree-my hope being that they may not grace this forum today;busy celebrating their historic win over Afghanistan!!

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 16:09 GMT)

what a game!Test cricket at its best!Australia deserved this.

Posted by gimme-a-greentop on (March 5, 2014, 16:09 GMT)

Right..that was nail-biting, but in the end Aussies really did deserve the win. They were the more hungry of the two teams, and played the more positive cricket. We are probably witnessing the changing of the guard. It's a pity SA couldn't hang on for Smith, but it really doesn't detract from the fact that under him they have been unbeaten for so long. Congrats Oz! Also nice to see the players putting aside all the silly stuff at the end. The fans of both sides have been going at it long and hard now, reckon we should do the same. It's been good boys and girls! On to the next series.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 16:08 GMT)

These two teams have showed why they are at the top by a long long way .What respect for each other inspire of all the sledging. Look at their post match comments. Hope subcontinent teams follow these guys. Both teams played their best. I would have this any day over washouts and 300+ run fest's on flat roads.Can we please have this close a series. Also SA need to think here. Vernon Philander can be a very competent all rounder. hell get the odd fifty and his bowling can be better than kallis. So he can really play a role similar to what kallis played albeit for a shorter time and to a much less extent. But he is an ideal candidate. Also Elgar and Alviro don't seem to be stable at the top of the order. They need replacement .Maybe give JP a go although such a move is not advisable its worth a try.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 16:07 GMT)

Morne Morkel is no good, either with the ball and ...forget about the rest.

Posted by sundersingh on (March 5, 2014, 16:06 GMT)

only a quality fast bowling can win test match like this... congrats to Aussies on a hard earned victory..

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 16:03 GMT)

one double century, three centuries, two near centuries, one half century... despite all that, overcoming all that stonewalling, aus burst through and breach the fort. great battle. memorable for ages. equal kudos to both the champion sides!

Posted by JOHNCSPACE on (March 5, 2014, 16:03 GMT)

Thanks all ye bloggers on cricinfo..this was truly a well played and interesting comments during this series. Australia were victorious deservedly because they played a better game all round and are serious contenders for no. 1 spot. No hard feelings Mate, (give a damn if you do lol! ) fair dinkum win and the Australian test Green & Gold move on and up. Good lucky to G Smith and SA cricket. Over and out

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 16:02 GMT)

i am too distraught to comment

Posted by Eskimo on (March 5, 2014, 16:02 GMT)

Wow! What a series! As a saffer I need to say this: Very well played, Aussies! You deserved to win and were the better side this series! You played smart cricket and when SA made mistakes you made us pay. Excellent captaincy by Clarke! Farewell Smith and thank you for everything. Long live Test Cricket!!!

Posted by Biggus on (March 5, 2014, 16:01 GMT)

Well, there you have it. Top knock by Philander and others but we sneak through with Harris on one leg. Worthy opponents were the Saffers, tough and resilient, so you'll have to forgive us if we feel good about this. One very satisfying summer for we Aussies and whilst we still have work to do we're in a far better place than a year ago. Go and have that knee seen to Rhino, we want you back asap. You make us proud to have you.

Posted by Blackholesun on (March 5, 2014, 16:01 GMT)

Simply incredible match ! Last one hour really made me nervous. So close yet so far, reminds me of Ashes 2005, when Australia needed 2 or 3 runs for victory and Kasporowiz got out and Australia lost the match and eventually the series.

Wonderful stuff from both teams. Test matches like is the reason, that they are considered as the real tester of the character of the team as well as of individuals.

Posted by Back-Foot-Cringe on (March 5, 2014, 16:01 GMT)

Oz deserved to win the match & therefore the series. They were the FAR better team in every department.

But in the real world, you don't always get what you deserve. At other times, you sometimes get what you don't deserve.

This is life on the field & off it.

But Oz earned it thoroughly, & shut a lot of disbelievers up in the process.

Warner an easy call for Man of the Series. Mitchell Johnson for close runner-up.

But the day's hero = Ryan Harris, for doing for Oz this time what Peter Siddle could not against SA last time - getting the ball behind stonewalling bats for a castle. And this on knees with bone grinding on bone.

This will be talked about for a very long time to come.

Oz, you bloody beauty.

Posted by Front-Foot_lunge on (March 5, 2014, 16:00 GMT)

As an England fan, I only dream that my team might display the guts and grit shown by the Proteas. Maybe we may we have avoided in the ignominy of a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Australia?

One thing I do know, if the score had remained the same, but we'd shown any sort of guts and determination, then like the South Africans, we could have walked tall even in defeat. Instead we folded, shamefully, like a house cards. Well done South Africa, shame on England.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (March 5, 2014, 15:59 GMT)

WHAT!!? I had literally just turned off my TV, tried to sleep for 10 minutes, couldn't do it, switched it back on and we had won. Ridiculous, what a great bowler. That's a miracle, i will never doubt you again Ryano!

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 15:59 GMT)

South Africa u have won hearts if not the match. Morkel u could have stayed. Steyn what a brilliant knock while injured. AB Amla Abbott Duminy Vernon Steyn Faf have played very bloody damn well.I'd count AB s grinding better than Warners twin tons only for the situation they came in.27 balls left. Incidentally the top three of smith Elgar and alviro played 27 balls if put together. Alviro and Elgar should be ashamed .Had they stayed Smith would not have gone on a losing note. Smith a great end to ur career mate. U dint score but still thanks for so many knocks. Will miss u .I don't want to be cruel but you were quite a bit part of why SA lost this match if truth be told. But anyways have a good retirement. Love SA.They have proved why they are no 1.The ranking might not last long but this performance will be remembered for a long time. Only team in the modern game who can bat so well on 5 the day.

Posted by NP_NY on (March 5, 2014, 15:58 GMT)

Got to give it to the Saffers. They may choke in ODIs and T20s but when it comes to fighting for a draw in test matches, they are right up there. Tough luck today. The Aussie bowling was just too good.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 15:58 GMT)

Lots of respect to the SA.

Much more respect to Ryan Harris. What a super champion, on one knee. What a game. What a game.

Aussie supporter here, but lots of respect for SA character.

Posted by batman_gothamcity on (March 5, 2014, 15:58 GMT)

Fantastic test match and series by both top teams . They fought hard and in the end the aussies won ending a great summer . SA also gave 100 % and almost saved this .Sadly Graeme smith has to retire with a loss , nevertheless a superb batsman and a motivating leader .

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (March 5, 2014, 15:57 GMT)

Justice in the end. The best team won. That's the way it should be. But geez, the track was just so dead! No movement in the air either. What a contrast to the 21 wickets on the 2nd day at Newlands last time. Looked like we were in a different couuntry - or continent.

Posted by disco_bob on (March 5, 2014, 15:57 GMT)

Could there have been a more magical finish than for Harris to take the final two wickets. It doesn't matter now but Philander was out because the back of his glove was still in contact with the bat as the ball grazed his thumb.

There'll be a few Protea fans ready to join FFL in the sanitorium. Thanks to SA for giving us dead wickets in order to sharpen us up.

Posted by AussiePhoenix on (March 5, 2014, 15:56 GMT)

THAT is why you always go for the win. You can't win if you try to draw. SA, Eng, India and everyone else, please take note.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 15:55 GMT)

Thoroughly deserved Australia. Congrats. Proud of the Proteas who made them fight for it.

Posted by siddhartha87 on (March 5, 2014, 15:55 GMT)

that bad knee has done the magic.Harris you beauty!! What a win for the Aussies.Definitely the better team of the series.Aussies should get to no 1 rank in tests after their tests against India.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (March 5, 2014, 15:51 GMT)

God I love you Sir Harris. What a legend. Going to pull my shirt over my head and run around the block now.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (March 5, 2014, 15:41 GMT)

Watson is stupid. He doesn't bowl straight in these moments. Now I understand why many believe he is all frame nothing inside.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (March 5, 2014, 15:32 GMT)

I've seen this from Clarke before and I think it's the one thing that he misunderstands. When you have Steyn on strike that's the end to bowl Johnson from. Don't wait until the set and better batsman is on strike to bring him on, they aren't going to rotate the strike. You're giving Philander all the Johnson balls instead of making Steyn try to get off strike. It doesn't matter how many overs are left in the day and trying to time things, you need 2 wickets, that's the game. Really bad captaincy unfortunately, as much as I enjoy the rest of what he does.

Posted by dsig3 on (March 5, 2014, 15:31 GMT)

Only one team in this game. Aus have been robbed by a crucial decision. How is there enough evidence to overturn that decision? Disgraceful. SA seem to be just as happy with draws as with wins. Thats why they will always be average and never a champion team.

Posted by thectexperience on (March 5, 2014, 15:19 GMT)

It'll be a fitting end to Graeme Smith's career if South Africa are outplayed across all departments yet manage to grind their way to a draw in an epic block-a-thon

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (March 5, 2014, 14:21 GMT)

@Disco_bob: Interesting, as far as i'm concerned this match is dead and buried. Draw. SA fans are tying to push AUS into a corner by saying things like 'AUS derserve to win this match' such that if they are not to win, they can then proceed to say that AUS was unable to win when they held all the aces, which would be true to an extent but misleading i reckon.

I think it's gone from a situation where it is now AUS who need the miracle, because to dislodge them with round about an hour left.

Posted by gimme-a-greentop on (March 5, 2014, 14:18 GMT)

@xtrafalgarx...ok, can you be more specific when you say "a few other blokes." Amla perhaps? (beat Sir Viv in terms of quickest to a certain amount of runs in ODIs). Smith? Petersen (run a ball fifty in the first dig, all the shots in the book). If you've never seen Faf and JP bat in the shorter formats don't come here with your generalized ignorance just because you're annoyed SA are playing the situation. They were outplayed. They have to defend. Get a clue.

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (March 5, 2014, 14:16 GMT)

This is why we should have points allocated to each game and used as part of the ranking process.

If it turns out that SA are not all out at days end, it is like a lower quality boxer lasting 10 rounds with the world heavy weight champion.

Sure the lower quality boxer is still breathing at the end of the match, but he was the second best performer.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (March 5, 2014, 14:13 GMT)

@Donovan Bolton: He might. I can only speak from personal experience, and after playing a couple of Cowan's in my time, i can say with confidence that it's far easier to dead bat than score runs when you have no shots. Look at at Abbott, don't tell me he had to curb his natural insticts.

Once you are playing no shots and your defence is good enough to keep out a good ball at the pads, on a flat pitch you're home free. You pretty much eliminate the caught behinds and if you can block good deliveries at the stumps it's shut up shop. 4 runs in 4 hours #Cowan.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 14:13 GMT)

Aussie fan here. This is brilliant Test cricket. The series coming down to the last session, of the last day, of the test. So refreshing after all the one sided series that we've been seeing for the last few years. True grit being shown by the Saffers, which has been Smith's true legacy to SA cricket.

Posted by Protears on (March 5, 2014, 14:10 GMT)

@Donovan Bolton, you will see the whines if Australia Faf'ed out again.

Posted by Biggus on (March 5, 2014, 14:09 GMT)

Don't know why anyone's giving the Saffers a hard time, they're doing what they have to. Could go right down to the wire this one.

Posted by JOHNCSPACE on (March 5, 2014, 14:05 GMT)

As a one eyed Aussie support, We have seen this before (MJ o Sharma 9th wicket, stood on stumps all day) . SA will hold on to a draw. Our bowlers have missed the mark completely. With MJ, Patt and Harris dropping short or short of good length, JPD and Phil are not front line bats and can just stand off and keep fending that's every ball without danger. Instead of that Clarke and Smith should be bowling and looping it in and making the play interesting and fun to watch. Well done Australia, well played SA for another gritty draw....SA aren't the no.1 anymore

Posted by disco_bob on (March 5, 2014, 13:55 GMT)

Looks like an exciting finish but I'm still confident that Australia can take out these final three wickets to confound all the pundits, as they did against England. It is no easy task though, which makes it all the sweeter.

Posted by Baiy on (March 5, 2014, 13:52 GMT)

Cricket needs heroes! Graeme Smith is a hero. Unfortunately he is retiring - I have noted many great cricketers retiring around Aus series. KP, JT, JK now GS. Great atheletes, great careers, great contributions. Sportsmanship is as important as winning through talent. What is the difference between dominant teams like WI (Viv Richards), SA (G Smith) - they were talented, perhaps arrogant but had humility and respect for opposition. Some teams are willing to create dishormany, like the homework saga to win. Win at all cost. Win and than get acknowledged - rather than get acknowledged and are likely victors. We have to be honest in this beautiful game we love, champions who are villiains who subevertly bring the game into disripute and there are great individuals, great teams who achieve the potential they deserve and more. I hope SA can get a draw - victory is not deserved by the aggressors in this case. G Smith - SA needs idols like you, you stand tall and carry a rainbow nations dream

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 13:47 GMT)

@ xtrafalgarx Nice try buddy but Mark Waugh who may just know a bit more about batting than you stated a couple of hours ago that batting to save a match is far harder than batting to win a match. Ok? Australia deserve to win this test but I am so proud of the Proteas for not handing it to them on a platter. I would have thought that people who understand test cricket (especially Australians) should enjoy what we are seeing.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (March 5, 2014, 13:46 GMT)

@gimme-a-greentop: These guys natural insticts aren't to attack anyway. It would have been difficult for Mark Waugh because he got bored easily, guys like Duminy, Du Plessis and a few other blokes in that line up have no shots anyways so this is like second nature to them.

Posted by DragonCricketer on (March 5, 2014, 13:41 GMT)

Give Warner a trundle. The man of the series. Or maybe Haddin.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 13:39 GMT)

Many of you guys commenting here seem to not know test cricket. True its a boring day. But playing for a draw is not always bad.In this case they are trying to draw the game and the series. A draw is always better than a loss. Every game cannot be a nail biter and a run fest.And boy surviving for 228 and 100 balls is not the easy part.Imagine how much restraint does it need especially for devillears who is the best improviser in the game currently can play some of the most amazing shots.This is pure resistance .Not pleasing to watch but then again SA will remain unbeaten .

Posted by gimme-a-greentop on (March 5, 2014, 13:36 GMT)

@ShutTheGate..not sure what you are on about. The only way SA could show fighting spirit was to play for the draw, so comprehensively have they been outplayed in this game. There is NO WAY they could chase these runs.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 13:30 GMT)

Aus should pick up these wickets , only 3 wickets on a day 5 pitch and 33 overs.If they dont get them, Dont blame SA, blame Aus captain.I said yesterday when they were 450 ahead that he shouldve showed a bit of oats but instead batted to a 511 run lead.It was a mistake regardless whether AUS win or lose the game.To be honest, you believe they deserve a win if they cant take 9 10 and 11 in 33 overs on a day 5 pitch?

Posted by DylanBrah on (March 5, 2014, 13:29 GMT)

Steve Smith should definitely see more overs than Lyon in these situations. He's far more dangerous as a wicket-taking option it seems.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 13:28 GMT)

Happy for Pattinson though - he seemed the only threatening bowler amongst the quicks last year when Aus toured India.

Pattinson + Cummins bowling from either ends - Johnson warming up - Harris waiting to have a go... makes for an awesome thing to look forward to. But the perennial question is, where is Cummins ??? I last saw him in the World T20. Bowled good change up deliveries.

Posted by gimme-a-greentop on (March 5, 2014, 13:27 GMT)

@xtrafalgarx...your opinion is different to that of one Mark Waugh, who said batting for the draw is far harder because the batsman has to go against his natural instincts. Anyone who thinks AB's natural instinct is to block is watching some other cricket. And all you saying that SA play for the draw right from the start, that is simply absurd. You all said the same thing after day one in PE and SA won that in four days.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 13:25 GMT)

You crickets brains want a team to chase 510 runs in the fourth innings in 4 and a bit sessions. the highest score chased in the 4th innings is 418. Please be realistic when commenting. Yes Australia has played better cricket but you have to appreciate the effort of the proteas to not loose this series. Do you want SA to role over like England did???Give to cricket what cricket asks. Its asking SA to play this way. The previous game it asked SA to be the other way.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (March 5, 2014, 13:22 GMT)

@AltafPatel You're making the same fairly amateurish mistake that a lot of other people have also made here. When we got to lunch on day 4 Clarke didn't have enough runs on the board yet, so the declaration had to be pushed until some time after lunch. Once that decision got made it had nothing to do with runs, it was about time. Clarke didn't want to bowl for 1.5 hours before tea and tire out his bowlers so they would be ineffective after tea. He wanted them to be able to come out and bowl with everything, then have the tea break and come out and go again. If he had 450 on the board when there was 40 minutes until tea he wouldn't have batted to 500, he would have still declared at the exact same time. The mind set for a batsman coming out for an hour vs 30 minutes is massively different, and that's why they were left a horrid little period before tea. It worked too, 3 wickets.

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 13:21 GMT)

Good nut from Smith first up to get Faf, just need 3 more men! Gotta get that ball reversing post tea break otherwise it's going to be hard work. One final effort for the summer boys!

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 13:18 GMT)

I am completely tempted to draw parallels between this test and the Jo'burg test between India and SA earlier this year. Comparable target, Similar no. of overs left, same opposition batting, 5th day pitch. SA almost reached the target in Joburg, Aus on the verge of victory here. Puts things into perspective - a good batting line up with strong bowling backup and attacking captaincy is much preferable than a world beater batting with mediocre bowling (especially on spinner "unfriendly" tracks) and defensive captaincy (read Dhoni).

Posted by PrasPunter on (March 5, 2014, 13:18 GMT)

As a spinner, Smith looks better to take a wicket than Lyon. And he has !!

Posted by heathrf1974 on (March 5, 2014, 13:16 GMT)

@PrasPunter I agree. I'm a fan of Lyon but he has been disappointing bowling during second innings. His spot could be under pressure next series against Pakistan later this year.

Posted by jb633 on (March 5, 2014, 13:06 GMT)

@TheBigBoodha, pathetic comments. What do you expect SA to do slog there way to 250 and get bowled out before tea? This game is the Aussies now I can't see SA batting out much longer with Faf gone. Aus have played the better cricket but they show terrible sportsmanship. They lose a game so Warner complains. Why not just shut your mouth and let your bat do the talking (you are doing well enough to ignore such rubbish). The sledging every ball does nothing to endear this Aussie side to the netural but you can't argue that they are a very good side and deserve this series win. I think they will dominate for a couple of years on wickets in England/AUS/SA/NZ. They still have to prove themselves in Asia and if they can find a good spinner they can be no 1.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (March 5, 2014, 12:55 GMT)

SA will probably get through the day, and their fans will talk them up. But dead batting is easier than it seems i reckon, batting is about scoring runs, survival is the easy part.

Posted by ShutTheGate on (March 5, 2014, 12:48 GMT)

What an anti climax. I thought this would be a thrilling finish to the series and it's turned out to be the most boring day of cricket I've ever watched.

So much for the South African fighting spirit. And so much for sending Graeme Smith out on a high. Smith's last test will be highlighted by his team giving up on a win and playing for a draw - hardly what I'd call a champions attitude.

I'm looking forward to SA touring Australia next - I'm sure we'll return the favour of giving them no warm up matches!

Posted by AltafPatel on (March 5, 2014, 12:37 GMT)

Clarke been more defensive by setting target that no team will try to achieve in 4 sessions. He could have set 450 showing some brave.

Posted by PrasPunter on (March 5, 2014, 12:29 GMT)

When was the last time Lyon took wickets on a fifth day pitch ?

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (March 5, 2014, 12:24 GMT)

Well the Saffas love this dead bat stuff. It just about defines them these days. Are they all accountatnts or soemthing? Too bad they can't score runs, take wickets or field too good.

Posted by VivGilchrist on (March 5, 2014, 12:23 GMT)

Lyon really needs to step up here. This pitch is dead, this is when you need your spinner to do something special. Over to you Nathan.

Posted by analyseabhishek on (March 5, 2014, 12:12 GMT)

Go South Africa! Fans know that a 1-1 result would be fair and poetic- fair due to the injury to Steyn and poetic justice after Biff's fabulous career end!

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (March 5, 2014, 12:12 GMT)

A lot of strange arguments going on about ranking systems for some reason on the previous threads. This is test cricket! Sometimes you have to play for the draw. What is the point in trying to chase down over 500 in one day on a Day 5 pitch against arguably the worlds' best bowling attack? Australian fans moaning about how it's not fair if this is a draw because the ranking wont take into consideration that Australia have dominated the game throughout need to realise this: the Australian bowlers' averages are constantly being absurdly inflated each time they pick up a wicket, because they are conceding next-to-no runs here. Conversely, the South African batting averages are being deflated because it's not runs they're after; it's time/balls survived that matters.

Posted by himmat on (March 5, 2014, 12:10 GMT)

South Africa at this point has become too annoying by their way of batting......TOO NEGATIVE !!! Come on Aussies......!!!!

Posted by fair_paly_1 on (March 5, 2014, 12:09 GMT)

SA have got a real match of a team here if not better in this series at least. Aus is the only team that can threaten SA no1 position. If SA can pull a draw here (unlikely) then that would be something.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (March 5, 2014, 11:46 GMT)

De Villiers, This is not the way man. You are the world' best batsman. You have a responsibility to the whole of cricket fans. Whatever the situation you must score runs fast. Stil it is DeVilliers, KP, Warner and Virat Kohli.

Posted by Int.Curator on (March 5, 2014, 11:38 GMT)

This article makes comparison to Adelaide another game where SA were totally outplayed. Where drawing a game is seen to be of some great note.

SA are always in the mindset that if you set out to draw you can't lose and if you win it is a bonus.

Not sure that any team that pro-actively sets out to draw games can truly consider themselves as No1.

It is really by default that they eventually win and then earn the title.

I'd like to draw a comparison to Australia consistently playing for a winning result in both Adelaide and Cape Town and how they have totally outplayed SA in every department.

I think playing for the win far out weighs the successes of survviving 4 sessions of negative cricket.

Posted by Coolcapricorn on (March 5, 2014, 11:35 GMT)

Really hope that both AB & FAF hold out till the end & SA escape with a draw for their captain as it will sad if Graeme Smith leaves international cricket with a series loss. So keep on fighting guys!

Posted by Thegimp on (March 5, 2014, 11:35 GMT)

OK so now the Australian team is the only team in the world that isn't allowed to bounce the ball into the keeper?

Posted by tom120 on (March 5, 2014, 11:27 GMT)

I'd hate it, but I don't think Australia will win this match. SA will draw this darn thing.

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (March 5, 2014, 11:15 GMT)

And what's all this nonsense in the commentary about roughing up the all? Both teams have been doing it all series. If they suddenly enforce the laws now it would make a complete mockery of the series. Why do it only on the last day of the series? There's been some bizarre stuff here, like the extending extra time in the previous test on the fourth day, giving Lyon out in a hurry at the end. If they start telling players they can't rough up the ball by bouncing it off he surface it would obviously mean that one team has been suddenly given a different set of rules. Australia would have every right to be damn angry about that.

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (March 5, 2014, 11:06 GMT)

Looks like Smith might achieve his dream of drawing the game. Another flat, dry wicket. - certainly by Newlands standards. SA can't bowl, score runs or face good pace bowling none too good but they sure can dead bat real good. Just playing to their strengths, of course. Mission accomplished (perhaps).

Posted by jonty129 on (March 5, 2014, 11:06 GMT)

Hope AB and Faf can do it again. Don't believe they can to be honest. If Australia win, it is a well deserved test and series win. If we draw, I'll be a relieved man.

Posted by SLslider on (March 5, 2014, 11:03 GMT)

Watching these two bat is like watching grass grow.They should take some lessons from sanga and mahela so they can become watchable. No wonder stadiums are always empty in SA. SA brand of cricket. On the other hand AUS is looking clueless. With all the hype around johnson, he is still not a good bowler in all conditions. Philander not bowling much yesterday clearly shows he was trying to save his record. Although AUS outplaying SA has put some doubts in us fans. You never know what is happening behind the curtain.

Posted by StarveTheLizard on (March 5, 2014, 11:00 GMT)

We haven't seen Harris yet, today. Has his knee given out?

Posted by Gerry_the_Merry on (March 5, 2014, 10:59 GMT)

If this test is saved, then du Plessis and de Villiers will walk into any hall of fame. However i dont think it is likely. New Ball is due, and Johnson is fresh.

Posted by Thegimp on (March 5, 2014, 10:59 GMT)

Don't worry Australia, I phoned Clarke earlier and told him I still have two hours at work and an hour drive home and could he please postpone the ending until I am back on my lounge couch ready to watch the finale!!!! lol

Posted by   on (March 5, 2014, 10:52 GMT)

What a player this two...DO same thing Again and Again... Some player not done in one time in 20years...

Posted by Samdanh on (March 5, 2014, 10:50 GMT)

Looks a draw from now. If SA does manage it, it will be a remarkable farewell Test gift to Smith. What a team, this SA is!

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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South Africa v Australia at Centurion - Mar 14, 2014
Australia won by 6 wickets (with 30 balls remaining)
South Africa v Australia at Durban - Mar 12, 2014
Australia won by 5 wickets (with 2 balls remaining)
South Africa v Australia at Port Elizabeth - Mar 9, 2014
Match abandoned without a ball bowled
South Africa v Australia at Cape Town - Mar 1-5, 2014
Australia won by 245 runs
South Africa v Australia at Port Elizabeth - Feb 20-23, 2014
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