proteas savour a famous victory

PERTH - JP Duminy scored the winning runs for Suth Africa with a drive through the covers to secure a remarkable and statistically unlikely victory over Australia in the first Test, which is South Africa's first win in Australia for almost 15 years.

PERTH - JP Duminy scored the winning runs for Suth Africa with a drive through the covers to secure a remarkable and statistically unlikely victory over Australia in the first Test, which is South Africa's first win in Australia for almost 15 years.

The victory margin of six wickets to the Proteas was huge, but the psychological margin of victory was far larger.

Australia have now lost their last two Tests at the Waca (the other was against India) and are a side that has some serious questions in need of answering, particularly around the top five and the spin bowling.

Had it not been for Mitchell Johnson's match analysis of 11 for 159 they would not have come close to bowling out South Africa twice, and yesterday took only a single wicket - that of Jacques Kallis for 57.

The psychological momentum going into Melbourne's Boxing Day Test is all South Africa's. They will be buoyed to know the statistics favour them - Australia have never come from behind in a three-Test series to win after losing the first.

While Johnson, Brad Haddin and Simon Katich starred for Australia, for South Africa it was an all-round team effort. Everyone chipped in with the ball with Paul Harris and Makhaya Ntini each taking five wickets in the match and Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Kallis taking 10 wickets between them.

The batting highlights of the final two days came from the two second innings centurions - Graeme Smith (108) and AB de Villiers (106 not out) - but all of the batsmen contributed. Hashim Amla scored a hundred runs in the match and Kallis, with 63 and 57, scored an aggregate of 110 runs.

No less important was Duminy's vital second innings contribution. After his unfortunate first innings dismissal by Johnson, given that the ball appeared to brush his elbow or forearm, he batted with great composure yesterday for his 50 not out.

He clubbed one glorious lofted drive for six off Jason Krejza and squeezed a cut of the utmost delicacy off Johnson for four in the latter stages of an accomplished innings. With the innings Duminy has set up was could conceivably be a long and significant Test career.

The effort of the day, though, was De Villiers'. He and Kallis, the not out batsmen overnight, batted carefully through the morning, picking off singles and hammering the rare bad ball. They negotiated the second new ball and beyond, both going to fifties, when, with lunch in sight, Kallis screwed a drive to Mike Hussey into the gully off Johnson.

Duminy negotiated the period until lunch and then he and De Villiers fashioned a remarkably mature fifth wicket partnership of 111 to add to the fourth wicket partnership of 124 between Kallis and De Villiers.

De Villiers was there at the end on 106 not out, to give South Africa a six-wicket win.

"It was never really an issue whether I'd get a hundred or not against Aussie, it was just important to get a bat and get a win under the belt - it's more important to win a Test match over here than to get a hundred," said De Villiers.

"But it's done and it's great to get my hundred and win a Test match in one game. It's a most incredible feeling, it's a dream come true for me."

Not for the first time in the Test, Smith identified being roughed up by Johnson and South Africa's subsequent refusal to be cowed as the Test's turning point.

"If we didn't rock up on the day after Mitchell's spell and bowl as well as we did and put that statement in place that we're here and we're not going away, you know, we wouldn't be sitting here today," said Smith. "The way the team responded, we asked for intensity, we asked for winning sessions, we spoke about just making sure that we rocked up with our skill and our character and each guy did that and as a captain that's a rewarding feeling." - Avusa Cricket Correspondent

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