Player of the Match
Player of the Match

2.06pm And thus South Africa clinch a historic series victory over Australia, their first ever in the country. These really are stirring scenes to take in. The South Africans embrace and their emotions are palpable. After years of failure, they have beaten Australia. Smith is down in the middle, uprooting the stumps and waving to the crowd. How proud he must feel right this moment.

The smattering of a crowd cheers, the South African fans wave their flags. Look at Kallis and Boucher, who have been playing for over ten years and haven't had a chance to experience this moment. Steyn, Harris, Duminy and the younger lot walk around the boundary to shake hands with the fans. This is South Africa's 11th win this year, while Australia have won two of their last eight.

This is South Africa's tenth unbeaten series on the trot. Full marks to them. Smith has been central to South Africa's success this year with some aggressive captaincy and 1652 runs. South Africa can claim top ranking from Ricky Ponting's side if the tourists sweep the series 3-0 with victory in Sydney.

On the flip side, Ponting becomes the first Australian captain in 16 years to preside over a series defeat on home soil.Australia have not lost a home series since going down 2-1 to West Indies in 1992-93.

How often have we seen Australia suffer demoralising back-to-back defeats? The end of an era? Australia have been hit by injuries and slumps and the injury epidemic - Andrew Symonds has a knee problem and Shane Watson will be out for up to six months with back stress fractures - will ensure there are significant changes for Sydney. Australia only took 25 wickets in four innings and had very little chance to put pressure on the batsmen despite bowling on a wearing fifth day pitch.

Time for some feedback emails. "I actually have tears in my eyes! Well done to the SA lads!" says an emotional Piers. "May the ghosts of '99 rest in peace," says Egok. "Fantastic job guys. Siting infromt of my PC 4 in the morning with tears in my eyes! Well done SA!" says a proud Louis. "Well done South Africa! You played excellent despite all the excuses from the Aussies. Congratulations Champs," says Gerhard. "A lump in my throat as i watch this. Our guys have just made us proud. Our new rainbow nation with players of colour like Amla, Duminy doing well. I love it," says Nadeem. "Congratulations to South Africa! This has been the best cricket I have watched in Aus for a long time. I think they are the best in the world. They won because they are a great team who played very well," says Glenn, an Australian.

By the way, this is the tenth successful run-chase of more than 175 this year. South Africa have accounted for exactly 50% of those.

Time to head down to the post-match presentation. Mark Taylor has Ponting by his side: "We deserved to be in this position and full marks to South Africa. They won very comfortably, a well deserved series win. Things were looking good for us at one stage, but their tail played exceptionally well and Lee went down through injury. We weren't able to convert our opportunities. Lets see what the selectors come up with for next week."

And here's the man of the moment, Smith: "I've been smiling since the winning runs. Its incredible. Its been a team effort and when its come to key moment in this Test we've stepped up. JP was incredible and the self belief in the team is flowing. Its an honour to come here and beat a quality unit. We're going to celebrate and enjoy our New Years and not many of us are thinking about Sydney. After all the hard work this years its incredible to be standing here."

So many stellar performances this Test - Smith's two half-centuries, Duminy's sublime maiden hundred in just his second game, Ponting's fine double of 101 and 99 with the bat for Australia, but its Steyn who is Man of the Match for figures of 10 for 154 and his first half-century in that partnership with Duminy which ultimately proved decisive.

"Its happened so quickly. The team has done fantastically and been led by a fantastic captain. I hope I could make more runs like that but Duminy was exceptional."

Well folks, thats all we have for you. Its been a pleasure commentating on three of the past five days, and I'm sure George Binoy thoroughly enjoyed the two days he was in the seat. Thanks for tuning in to Cricinfo once again and on behalf of all of us here, let me wish each and every one of you a very happy New Year. Until the third Test, starting January 3, this is Jamie Alter wishing you all the best. See you next year!

47.6
2
Clarke to Amla, 2 runs, there it is! History has been created by South Africa! Perhaps the most significant two runs ever scored by a South African in a Test, and its Amla who applies the finishing touches on a series win by shuffling and working the ball off the pads through midwicket
45.1
4
Clarke to Amla, FOUR runs, too short and Amla rocks back to flash a handsome cut through square
38.3
4
Johnson to McKenzie, FOUR runs, up comes his fifty with a faulty shot, reaching out and steering a very wide ball fast and very low to Hayden's right at first slip, he clutches at the ball as it dips on him and muffs a very tough chance .. by Hayden's standards it has to go down as a drop
37.3
4
Siddle to McKenzie, FOUR runs, steered wide of slips for four and with no third man he moves to 48, the ball hits a length and shapes away and he opens the face, going back and across, and runs it between two fielders
33.6
4lb
Siddle to McKenzie, 4 leg byes, there's a stray delivery, plenty of swing through the air but it lands a foot outside leg stump and beats bat as well as a tumbling Haddin behind the sticks
30.4
4
Hauritz to Amla, FOUR runs, tossed up wider and Amla thrashes a good-looking drive past cover

The South African captain looks sombre as he walks off to applause but he knows what he's done to set South Africa up for a memorable series win. Amla is the new man in. Three men on the off side, close in.

28.5
W
Hauritz to Smith, OUT, a good shout and Billy Doctrove gives it! A quicker delivery gets Smith playing forward, the bat is just a fraction late to come down, its not a big stride and that ball would have taken out middle and leg, so another excellent innings from Smith comes to an end

GC Smith lbw b Hauritz 75 (133m 94b 10x4 0x6) SR: 79.78

28.2
4
Hauritz to Smith, FOUR runs, smashed, just dances down and drills it back past mid-on for four
20.4
6
Hauritz to McKenzie, SIX runs, hello, where did that come from? McKenzie breaks out of his slumber and dances down to pelt the ball back over the bowler's head, a very clean strike too
17.1
4
Johnson to Smith, FOUR runs, and another dab off the closed face, beating a diving gully, Smith gets his fifty to some good cheer from the MCG and thats a fighting innings again

Lee has not bowled all that badly, bar a penchant to over step.

16.6
4
Lee to McKenzie, FOUR runs, and he survives next ball, just managing to squeeze a full one past slip
16.2
5nb
Lee to Smith, (no ball) FOUR runs, he's forced it away again, this one's a no-ball, short and not that wide but Smith closes the face and chops it between the slips for a boundary, top shot
14.4
4
Lee to Smith, FOUR runs, oh well placed, Smith! Just sees a wee bit of room and cuts the bat late and smack between the slips and gully, closing the face and running it very well
10.3
4
Lee to Smith, FOUR runs, flashes the bat at short one and dabs it down past slips and gully
3.2
4
Siddle to Smith, FOUR runs, gets room and carves it down past Symonds at backward point
2.1
4
Lee to Smith, FOUR runs, short outside leg stump and tickled off the hips to fine leg

Symonds stands at silly mid-off

1.5
4
Siddle to Smith, FOUR runs, short and wide and firmly cut away square for a boundary
1.1
4
Siddle to Smith, FOUR runs, sharp bouncer first up to Smith, who arches back and and starts to leave, the ball kisses the edge and flies down wide of slips and gully for four

Here's Peter Siddle, the Victorian playing in front of his home crowd. Three slips and a gully.

0.1
4
Lee to Smith, FOUR runs, outside off and wide, Smith adjusts a bit and drives it down the ground. The ball was first interrupted by a swarm of flies in front of Lee

Welcome back, the players are out and we have approximately half an hour of play left in the day. Brett Lee has come out to bowl - he is expected to miss the third Test by the way because of an injured foot - and he will take the new ball

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