Cricket: South Africa claim series

Ricky Ponting acknowledges the crowd after he was dismissed playing his last international match. Photo / Getty Images
Ricky Ponting acknowledges the crowd after he was dismissed playing his last international match. Photo / Getty Images

Ricky Ponting didn't get a fairytale finish to his test career with South Africa thrashing Australia by 309 runs in the third test in Perth today, claiming the three-test series 1-0.

Ponting was dismissed shortly before the lunch break before Australia were dismissed for 322 in the third session on day four. Australian number 10 Mitchell Starc top scored in their second innings with 68 as he shared a 87 run 10th-wicket partnership with Nathan Lyon.

South African skipper Graeme Smith took five catches in the day while Dale Steyn finished with 3-72.

The series victory, South Africa's second in Australia, means the Proteas retain the number one test ranking.

Ponting reached eight before edging to Jacques Kallis at slip off spin bowler Robin Peterson. The former Australian skipper finishes his career as Australia's all-time leading test runs scorer with 13,378 runs, which includes 41 centuries and 62 half tons at an average of 51.85.

Only Sachin Tendulkar (15,562) has scored more runs his test cricket.

In a career that spanned 17 years, Ponting made his debut at the same ground against Sri Lanka in 1995 scoring 96 and retires as the most successful captain of all time. He scored six double centuries with his highest score of 257 coming against India at the MCG in 2003. Two weeks earlier he scored 242 also against India.

The third test was Ponting's 168th for his country, equalling the Australian record held by Steve Waugh, and the 37-year-old was involved in 108 victories.

- nzherald.co.nz

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