Johannesburg: Cricket South Africa on Monday hailed the Proteas` 1-0 Test series victory in Australia as a fitting tribute to celebrate the 200th Test match since the game in the country was desegregated after decades of international isolation due to apartheid.
South Africa beat Australia by 309 runs inside four days to clinch the Test series 1-0 and extend their lead at the top of the ICC Test Championship table.
It meant that they went through the year unbeaten in Test cricket with five wins and five draws. Nine of these 10 matches were on foreign soil and included back to back series wins over England, the previous number one team, and Australia.
They also joined the all-time greats (England in the 1890s and again between 1928 and 1933 and the all-conquering West Indies teams of Clive Lloyd and Sir Vivian Richards) in completing back-to-back series wins in Australia.
"What a wonderful way to celebrate our 200th Test match since unity," commented CSA Acting CEO Jacques Faul.
"I would not wish to single out individuals in what has been a wonderful team performance from that has also underlined the depth in our squad from coach Gary Kirsten right down to our three new caps.
"But one has to make an exception in the case of our captain Graeme Smith, who has now won back-to-back Test series in both England and Australia," he said.
Faul said that the series was tough and uncompromising from the first ball to the last but it was always played within the best spirit of cricket by both teams.
"All the countries that have held the number one ranking since the end of Australia`s period of domination have struggled to stay on top for any length of time but the Proteas have now cleared two major hurdles and I believe we can look forward to a period of their extended domination of Test cricket in the years ahead," Faul said.