Series victory South Africa's 'best moment,' says Smith

Australia 394 & 247 South Africa 459 & 183-1 (South Africa win by 9 wickets)

South Africa are just one win away from becoming the best Test side in the world after condemning Australia to a first series defeat on home soil in almost 16 years following a nine-wicket victory in the second Test here in Melbourne yesterday.

The Proteas, led by a fluent 75 from their captain, Graeme Smith, reached a modest target of 183 for the loss of only one wicket on the final day to take an unassailable 2-0 lead and seal a first-ever Test series triumph in Australia. Victory in the third Test, starting in Sydney on Friday, will take them to the top of the world rankings.

Hashim Amla, a man not bearing scars from previous defeats to the hosts, stroked the winning runs shortly after lunch as South Africa became the first team to overcome Australia at home since the West Indies in 1992-93. That was also the last occasion Australia lost back-to-back Tests at home.

Smith described his team's historic series triumph as "the greatest moment in South African cricket. It's got to be the best," he said. "It's got to be the most incredible season South African cricket has ever had. I don't think anyone would argue with that. The balance of power is evening out in world cricket. Maybe other teams are moving into other eras, who knows?"

South Africa were never under any pressure in their run chase. Australia, needing a flurry of wickets early on the final day to have any hope of winning, did not make a breakthrough until 16 minutes before lunch when Smith was trapped lbw by Nathan Hauritz.

Smith had dominated a 121-run opening stand with Neil McKenzie and it was a shame for him that he was not there at the end after he had once again shown the kind of leadership befitting a man who was made captain of his country at the age of 22.

He cashed in on Australia's attacking approach, striking seven of his 10 boundaries with cuts and deflections through a vacant third man region. However, Smith was unexpectedly the first to go as McKenzie had appeared the most vulnerable of the pair.

While unconvincing, McKenzie – who had made scores of two, 10 and zero in his three most recent innings – dug in and managed to eke out an unbeaten 59. He survived strong leg before shouts from the fast bowler Brett Lee, who was bowling despite nursing an injured foot that will keep him out of the Sydney Test, and Mitchell Johnson.

Buried Down Under: Australia laid to rest

'RIP Australian cricket'

The Sydney Daily Telegraph

"The echo of the ball flying off Hashim Amla's bat yesterday was the death rattle of Australia's 16 years without a home loss."

'Smith trumpets new world order'

The Herald Sun

"South Africa is Test cricket's new top dog."

'Hayden survives MCG wreckage'

The Australian

"Matthew Hayden continues to enjoy the unequivocal support of the selectors and captain."

MCG scoreboard and Ashes build-up

Second Test: Australia v South Africa

Final day of five: South Africa won by nine wickets.

Australia won toss

Australia – First Innings 394 (R T Ponting 101, M J Clarke 88no, S M Katich 54; D W Steyn 5-87).

South Africa First Innings 459 (J P Duminy 166, D W Steyn 76, G C Smith 62; P M Siddle 4-81).

Australia – Second Innings 247 (R T Ponting 99; D W Steyn 5-67).

South Africa – Second Innings (Overnight: 30 for 0)

*G C Smith lbw b Hauritz 75

N D McKenzie not out 59

H M Amla not out 30

Extras (lb9 w2 nb8) 19

Total (for 1, 48 overs) 183

Fall: 1-121.

Did not bat: J H Kallis, A B de Villiers, J P Duminy, †M V Boucher, M Morkel, P L Harris, D W Steyn, M Ntini.

Bowling: Lee 10-0-49-0; Siddle 14-5-34-0; Johnson 11-1-36-0; Hauritz 10-0-41-1; Clarke 3-0-14-0.

Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pak) and B R Doctrove (WI).

South Africa lead three-match series 2-0.

Australia's build-up to The Ashes

South Africa in Australia: Third Test, Sydney 3-7 Jan 2009

Australia in South Africa: First Test, Johannesburg 26 February-2 March, Second Test, Durban 6-10 March, Third Test, Cape Town 19-23 March

The Ashes: First Test v England, Cardiff 8-12 July

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?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'