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Australia vs South Africa, 3rd Test,

Commentary

South Africa won by 309 runs | Australia Vs South Africa Live Score, 3rd Test

The mace has been presented to South Africa as they end their Test engagements for the year with the No. 1 ranking intact. Fair enough, they did not lose a single Test in the entire year. On the other hand, Australia will have to get over the disappointment of another Test series loss at home against the Proteas as they prepare to host Sri Lanka. The 1st Test of that series starts on the 14th of December. Test cricket continues with India looking to avenge their 2nd Test loss when they face England at the famed Eden Gardens on Wednesday. For now, cheers and bye..
Proud moment for Ricky as he is joined by his parents, wife and his kids on the ground. A great career perhaps deserved a better farewell. The Aussie team-mates lift him on their shoulders and he is taken on a small stroll across the ground. Who will replace him in the playing XI? That is something the whole cricketing world will be discussing over the next few days.
Smith: I think we just have to look back to the 90s and see how difficult it is to win in Australia. Today was no different. The way we turned it around was something really special. Both England and Australia are great teams. We enjoyed beating them both. Congratulations to Ponting on a great career and we wish him all the best for the future. He's the best Australian batsman I have played against. I would love to share some beers and catch up with him now. I thank all the South African fans for getting up early in the morning to cheer us. This one's for you.
Clarke: I'll swap the runs for a win here today. Credit to South Africa. They've showed what it takes to be No. 1 and what we have to do to get there. To be the best team in the world, you've got to run with the momentum when you have it. They bowled well in the first innings in this match and ran with it for the next three days. I'm really proud of my team too. I think we fought really well. I'm doing some hard work behind the scenes. Its good to be scoring runs but we've to start winning more. Ponting's loss will be a big one. It's a huge loss for cricket. We'll keep him involved in cricket somehow.
Michael Clarke is the Mos for his 576 runs during the series.
Amla: I'm just glad to make a contribution in a winning cause. The bowlers did a fantastic job. Experience always helps. I'm very fortunate that this year has gone well. We've got a great bunch of guys and support staff as well. Fortunately, we came here as the No 1 ranked team. The first two Tests hardened us up. It was an awesome experience. Faf came into the team after JP got injured. The way he performed was a tribute to the SA spirit. He really set it up.
Hashim Amla is the MoM for his superb knock of 196 in the second innings.
Ricky Ponting: It is always very special. I have been a captain of two World Cup wins. Winning the Ashes was very special. I wish the boys best of luck for the upcoming Ashes. There are a lot of innings that come to mind. The knock of 197 against Pakistan during the 1999-00 season over here, the 100 I got in the 2003 WC final against India was remarkable . I have been proud of how I have played in big games, until the last couple of years. Probably my finest moment in my captaincy was taking a young side to SA a couple of years ago to win a series. That came after we lost to them here. I just took a walk around the park to have a look around at the faces of those young guys. That was a really proud moment for me.
Perth also marks the end of an era. Ricky Ponting, one of the last standing greats of the 90s has called time on his magnificent career, one that saw him part of 3 World Cup triumphs, most number of Test wins as a player (the only one to go past the magical 100 wins mark). He might have had his flaws, but this is the time to celebrate all the glorious occasions of a career that lasted 17 years. Farewell, Ricky.
Armed with the lead, Smith, Amla and de Villiers tore through the Australian bowling line-up in the second effort, perhaps a fitting retribution for the sufferings they endured on Day 1 of the Adelaide Test. Chasing 632 was well out of the equation for the hosts, the only thing was if they had any Faf and AB in their own ranks. It was not to be so as Steyn and Co. ripped through the batting line-up.
The hosts did start the Perth Test with the same alacrity as their new pronged pace attack ran through the South African top and middle order. At 6/75, South Africa were well and truly left gasping.Once again it was down to that man, Faf du Plessis to salvage the situation. His unbeaten 78 helped South Africa post a decent 225 on a tough pitch. Allan Donald's prognosis about the greatness of this South African attack looked to be a far call in the first two Tests but they showed their quality when it really mattered, skittling the hosts out for 163.
The series was billed as the battle for the No. 1 Test ranking and it stayed with the hype. What could have been the turning point of the series? Mid-way through the 4th day of the Adelaide Test, it was all but certain that the hosts would go into Perth with a 1-0 cushion. Try telling that to two men. AB de Viliers and Faf du Plessis played the sort of cricket that the purists would certainly approve. Faf completed a memorable debut with a fifty in the first innings and a match saving ton in the second. At the end of the 5th day, one got the feeling that Australia had well and truly failed to deliver the knock out punch.
Superb win by South Africa by a margin of 309 runs. They were made to wait for the moment. Lyon and Starc kept the crowd entertained with a breezy little stand of 87 for the final wicket. South Africa, though could not be denied. It was fitting that Smith and Steyn were involved in the final dismissal. 5 catches for Smith. Ponting leads the Aussies into the ground as the two teams end hostilities with warm hand-shakes and embraces.
End of over 83, 4 runs (. . 4 . W )
AUS: 326/10
Nathan Lyon - 31(43) This over: 4 runs
Mitchell Starc - 68(44) This over: 0 runs
Dale Steyn
(23.3 - 8 - 76 - 3)
82.5 Dale Steyn to Nathan Lyon W
out Caught by Graeme Smith!! There it is. South Africa remain the No.1 ranked team and they have defeated Australia for the second consecutive time in their home turf. Good length ball and it zips through on middle, Lyon pokes at it and gets an outside edge that is taken low at first slip by Graeme Smith to his right, this is his fifth catch and Clarke suffers his first series loss as skipper. Lyon c Graeme Smith b Steyn 31(43) [4s-6]
3 wickets for Dale Steyn. Dale Steyn is on a roll.
10 wickets down for AUS. Out batsman is Nathan Lyon. It is all over for AUS.
82.4 Dale Steyn to Nathan Lyon 0
no run, good length ball and snaking away outside off, Lyon has a loose waft at it and gets beaten

Match details

Toss : South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first

Man of the Series : Michael Clarke

Umpires : Asad Rauf (Pak) and Richard Kettleborough (Eng)

TV umpire : Billy Bowden (NZ)

Match referee : Ranjan Madugalle (SL)

Teams

Australia : David Warner, Ed Cowan, Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke(c), Michael Hussey, Matthew Wade(wk), Mitchell Johnson, John Hastings, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon.

South Africa : Graeme Smith(c), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers(wk), Dean Elgar, Faf du Plessis, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel.

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