Ryan Harris the hero for Australia in thrilling series-deciding third Test victory over South Africa

The match brought down the curtain on the career of Graeme Smith

Australia's Ryan Harris took the last two wickets as South Africa came within five overs of saving the third Test on a dramatic day in which a third umpire decision came close to deciding the outcome of the match.

South Africa were bowled out for 265 as Australia won the series-deciding third Test by 245 runs at Newlands, leaving their captain Graeme Smith to retire from international cricket with a defeat.

Not even a controversial third umpire decision could derail Australia's victory charge, though they left it late in the day to force the win with Harris (four for 32) the hero.

The Proteas looked as though they would escape with a draw as they got within five overs of safety but Harris bowled out Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel to wrap up victory for the tourists.

Vernon Philander was not out on 51 after surviving a controversial moment with 16 overs remaining that left Australia seething when third umpire Richard Illingworth overturned a decision against him.

Mitchell Johnson produced a fierce bouncer that clearly caught the right thumb of the South African, who was given out by on-field umpire Aleem Dar.

Philander reviewed the decision and it was overturned based on the view that the batsman's hand was not on the bat handle.

Replays looked inconclusive and the Australians were seething, leading to an ugly verbal confrontation between touring captain Michael Clarke and Steyn.

The victory gave Australia the series 2-1 and came in the wake of their 5-0 thrashing of England in the home Ashes series played earlier this year.

South Africa started the day on 71 for four and batted for 94 overs but could not find an anchor all day, despite a number of candidates emerging.

Philander, Faf du Plessis (47), JP Duminy (43) and AB de Villiers (43) all spent time at the crease, but not long enough to save the Proteas from a first series defeat since Australia won by the same scoreline in the 2008/09 season.

The match is the last for South Africa's Smith who announced his retirement from international cricket after day three of the test having played in 117 five-day games, 109 as skipper.

Reuters

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue