12.40 pm About this time yesterday, South Africa were having lunch in a decent position, without a clue of the mayhem that was about to unfold. They lost nine wickets for 47 runs after lunch to give up a 188-run lead. It seemed impossible they would come back from that. But they did, blitzing Australia's batsmen for 47, after having them at 21 for 9 at one stage. It was ridiculously bizarre. Then they lost Rudolph early in the chase, and could have lost Amla on the last ball of the day. Smith and Amla resumed this morning with 155 to get, and they both batted quite superbly, scoring quickly and shutting Australia out. History will record this as a comfortable eight-wicket win, but we all know better!
Jonty: "There once was a batsman named smith, Who had the baggy greens in a tiff, He scored a great ton, and the proteas won, In SA slang isnt that kiff."
Liam: "There once was a batsman named Ricky. To get him out was quite tricky. But now he looks done, he can't make a ton, the selectors must be more picky."
Pankaj: "I tried to pen a limerick, while SA and Aus faced the bowlers music, I thought all night
But only when SA won the fight, I managed to pull off the gimmick."
I'll have the presentation for you shortly. Man of the Match? Clarke was the best individual performer for me, but I think Vernon Philander deserves it and will get it.
Michael Clarke: "An interesting three days ... without doubt we let ourselves down with the bat. Full credit to South Africa, for how they bowled and the way they played today. We might have needed 600 ... We played disgraceful shots. Horrendous shot selection. We let ourselves down with the ball ... there was enough in the pitch during the whole game, we got rolled for 47 when the sun was shining. No excuses. It (his century in the first innings) was useless, a waste of time. A hundred is useful only if you help your team win. I'll forget about that pretty quickly."
Graeme Smith: "Incredible. Yesterday was a mind boggle for all of us. It's a win I need to give to the bowlers. They got us bat in the game and set it up for us today. We showed a lot of resilience. The boys are looking forward to a weekend off, and then focus on Jo'burg.
"Vernon has deserved his call-up. His stats in first-class cricket have been incredible. He had a wicket that he could work with and he made it count.."
The Man of the Match is Vernon Philander - 5 for 15 in the second innings, 8 for 88 in his debut Test. "I was a bit nervous, woke up at around 5 in the morning. But I was ready for it. We had to pull off a big bowling performance and we did. It was one of the biggest turnarounds in cricket. Special." Vernon talks way too fast for me to keep up!
And so it ends. Two days and a session this Test was done and dusted in. Thank you for all your emails. See you for Jo'burg. Cheers.
Kallis has the opportunity and the honour of finishing a superb Test victory ...
They are singing in the stands ... Ole, ole, ole,ole
This is poetic, Smith could get his century with the winning shot of the Test.
Brendan: "@TimP, meter is so important, a small tweak on your splendid effort.
"There once was a batsman called Ponting
Whose strokes more and more were found wanting
For years he was splendid
But now that has ended
He finds himself doing the wrong thing"
Dubes: "Agree with Lance K (of the 99 semifinal fame?)... got to admit these 2 teams make for one of the best games... 99 semi finals, but after that SA have one upped Aussies from many dreadful situations... 434/438 game and then this test match! amazing!"
What about that chase in Australia? That was epic as well.
A boundary from Kallis will ruin it for Smith.
Glenn: "There was once a country XI, that was filled with manna from heaven, but with retirements a plenty, the cupboard grew empty, all out for 47."
Siddle's back, for what it's worth.
Lance K: "All I hear here is Aussie's whingeing about how rubbish they are! How about Well done SA...your cricket is on the up! You are the better team."
So Smith might get his century now. Kallis is the new batsman. He'll want to get off his pair.