South Africa crush Australia to remain No. 1

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Updated: Thursday, December 13, 2012, 12:56 [IST]
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Perth, Dec 3: There was no winning farewell for Ricky Ponting in his final Test. South Africa crushed Australia by 309 runs to claim the series 1-0 and retain the number one Test ranking.

Scorecard; PICTURES: Farewell to Ponting

On the fourth day of the third and final Test, the visitors grabbed all 10 Australian wickets today after they had resumed at 40/0. Chasing 623, Australia were bowled out for 322 in 82.5 overs.

South Africa crush Australia, stay No. 1

It was the Proteas biggest winning margin over Australia in terms of runs since unity and their second biggest of all time. It also meant that they went through the 2012 year unbeaten in Test cricket with five wins and five draws during that period.

Nine of these 10 matches were away from home and included back to back series wins over England, the previous No. 1 team, and Australia.

They also joined the all-time greats (England in the 1890s and again between 1928 and 1933 and the all-conquering West Indies teams of Clive Lloyd and Sir Vivian Richards) in completing back-to-back series wins in Australia.

Dale Steyn and Robin Peterson had three wickets apiece while Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander had two scalps each.

The last pair of Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon delayed Proteas victory as they associated for a half century stand. Starc reached to his maiden Test fifty. Starc topscored for the hosts with 68 not out off 43 balls.

Ponting, playing his final innings on Monday, was dismissed for just eight, to go with his four in the first innings. South African players gave him a guard of honour as he walked to the middle to bat at the WACA ground.

South Africa were never in doubt of losing this Test after setting a mammoth 623 to win for Australia. However, it was only left whether the hosts would play out more than two days for a draw. And it never happened in front of South African pace attack and the left-arm spin of Robin Peterson.

The first two Tests of the series in Brisbane and Adelaide, had ended in draws.


Story first published:  Monday, December 3, 2012, 13:59 [IST]
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