South Africa chase down Australia with ease


Cricket:South Africa completed the second-highest run chase in Test history to claim a six-wicket victory over Australia in the first Test in Perth today.

The tourists easily reached a victory target of 414, with debutant JP Duminy hitting the winning runs before tea on the fifth day at the WACA.

AB de Villiers finished unbeaten on 106 and Duminy made 50 not out as South Africa took a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series. The second Test begins at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on St Stephen's Day.

It was the highest successful run chase on Australian soil, and second only to the West Indies' 418-run pursuit of Australia in 2002-03.

The foundations for the memorable triumph were laid by captain Graeme Smith, who made 108 — before de Villiers and Duminy completed the win with a partnership of 111.

"It's not easy to describe," said man of the match de Villiers. "Things went our way, that's part of the game and I'm just delighted that we came through."

"JP 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," added de Villiers.

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting reckoned his side let an opportunity pass through their hands in their second innings.

"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 Australian skipper Ricky 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 but 319, as it turned out was nowhere near enough in the second innings.

"It is a bit of a worry that we weren't good enough to take 20 wickets in this Test and to only take four in the fourth innings is very disappointing for everybody."

It is the first time Australia has lost the first Test of a series on home soil since it failed against the West Indies in Brisbane during 1988-98.

The result will also the Proteas a sensational chance to win their first Test Series against Australia since the nation's re introduction to world cricket in 1992 and of becoming the first side since the West Indies in 1992-93 to defeat the Aussies at home.