'JP and I have played together from a young age – we understand each other'

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A B de Villiers was understandably lost for words after South Africa's remarkable six-wicket victory at the Waca yesterday. The 24-year-old, who struck an unbeaten 106 and shared a century partnership with the debutant J P Duminy, said that the victory was "not easy to describe".

He also paid tribute to Duminy, who was appearing in his first Test match some four years after he made his one-day international bow. The left-hand batsman has struggled to secure a Test place but he looked the part as he compiled a brave, unbeaten 50 to help South Africa to victory.

"Things went our way, that's part of the game and I'm just delighted that we came through," De Villiers said. "JP [Duminy] and I got together and we've played cricket together from a very young age, we understand each other's games and it just paid off today."

The Australian captain, Ricky Ponting, struggled to come to terms with the defeat. "I really think we had an opportunity to play them out of the game and bat them out of the game with our second innings," said Ponting. "Whether we weren't good enough, or mentally we weren't in the right place to do that, to occupy the crease and build a really good second innings total, I'm not sure. It is a bit of a worry that we weren't good enough to take 20 wickets and to only take four in the fourth innings is very disappointing."

Others took more pleasure from the result. England's South Africa-born captain Kevin Pietersen, whose side are in India, said: "I saw the scoreboard when I was batting today when South Africa won – and it made me chuckle."