Smith battered and beaten as Australia win

South Africa skipper Graeme Smith has revealed he had to bat in a borrowed pullover stained with hamburger juices after his unexpected appearance at the crease in a bid to halt Australia's late push for victory in the third Test.

Smith, who broke his left hand in the first innings and was also nursing an injured right elbow, batted at number 11 as the Proteas went within 10 balls of pulling off one of the greatest escape acts in world cricket.



The captain, along with tail-ender Makhaya Ntini (28 not out), held Australia at bay for 29 minutes before he was bowled by Mitchell Johnson in the penultimate over of a dramatic game.



Smith revealed he had not planned to bat at all but was caught up in the emotion of his team's gutsy rearguard campaign.



"I didn't really expect to go out. Deep inside I didn't really want to get out there," he admitted after Australia's thrilling 103-run win.



"I probably decided 25 overs out, 26 overs out (that I was going to bat).



"I arrived here without any kit and had some pants I'd shoved into my cricket bag to protect my bats.



"I stole a shirt off Jacques (Kallis) and a pullover off Harry (Paul Harris) that still had his hamburger stain on the front left side of it.



"I had Morne (Morkel) dressing me and putting my shoes on and pads.



"I decided I was going to give it a go and give it my best shot and if I got a first-baller or whatever at least I tried.



"Obviously there's a lot of pain. Once one ball hit the bat I thought 'okay, that's one out the way'.



"(I told myself) 'just keep watching the ball and hoping that it hits the bat the whole time'.



"It was about getting out there and doing the best you can."



Smith and Ntini looked to have done enough to stave off defeat before Johnson got one to jag back and bowl the Proteas captain six minutes from stumps.



Smith refused to use his injuries as an excuse for his dismissal.



"He probably would have got me if I had both arms available," he declared. "It cut back off a crack (and) Mitchell has bowled superbly all series.



"I saw they were having a little group meeting just before that over and I was hoping that they were going to give the ball to someone else."



South Africa still took the series 2-1 following victories in Perth and Melbourne and Smith conceded the Sydney Test was one that got away.



"We had our opportunities in the game early on," he said.



"We dropped our catches for the first time in a long time and it probably cost us the game.



"It was part of a great series, this finish, and it sets up a terrific home series in South Africa."



Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes his team deserved the victory.



"It's great to come away with a really hard-fought win, there's no doubt that through the course of the five days we've had the better of this Test match and I think we thoroughly deserved to win this game," he said.



"It's very pleasing for me to see some of the young guys come into the team for this game and to start off with a win is what you always hope for the younger guys coming in.



"So it's been a really rewarding period for the young guys in particular.



"I'm very proud of the way we bounced back to tell you the truth. It's always hard coming back in a series when you're 2-0 down and have probably been in positions in the first two games that you could have won Test matches as well.



"It says a lot about the character of the side to get back up off the canvas and put up a performance like we have this week."



The skipper also defended his side's performance throughout the opening two Tests of a memorable series.



"We haven't been that far away, it could have easily been a 2-1 result our way as well," he said.



"We haven't been that bad really, there's been a lot of negativity around about us, and sure we've had some situations that we could have played a lot better cricket in and probably could have ourselves changed the result.



"But you've got to give South Africa some credit for the way they did it in Perth with the run chase and the way they turned things around in Melbourne as well."



Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
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

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser
'Enhanced interrogation techniques?' When language is distorted to hide state crimes

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report'

Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing
Radio 1’s new chart host must placate the Swifties and Azaleans

Radio 1 to mediate between the Swifties and Azaleans

New chart host Clara Amfo must placate pop's fan armies
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

The head of Veterans Aid on how his charity is changing perceptions of ex-servicemen and women in need