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Ryan Harris was the hero and took the last two wickets of the day as Australia won the series deciding third Test against South Africa in Cape Town as Graeme Smith retired from international cricket with defeat.

It was a fiery and dramatic final day and at one point it looked like it might go against the Aussies with South Africa batting out an unlikely draw after starting the day on 71 for four, especially after a controversial third umpire call with 16 overs remaining.

That came when third umpire Richard Illingworth overturned a decision against Vernon Philander and it led to a confrontation between Michael Clarke and Dale Steyn, emotions running high.

In the end it didn't derail Clarke's side who won by 245 runs and it was Harris (four for 32) that won the day, taking the last two wickets of Steyn and Morne Morkel to wrap up a famous series victory for the tourists.

“That out there was proper Test-match cricket. That was bloody hard,” Harris reflected at the end of the game.

Clarke described it as “a long day”.

"I didn't enjoy much of today to be honest, it was a long day and it was getting pretty close at the end," he said at the post-match presentation.

"South Africa has always been the hardest challenge for me as an individual player and this series was no different.

"Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris have been exceptional, James Pattinson has come in and done a job and Nathan Lyon has been good in the series as well."

It has been a brilliant six months for Australia, this series win coming off the back of their 5-0 thrashing of England in the Ashes.

“We didn’t have thoughts of the draw in our head,” said Mitchell Johnson. “It was terrific how Ryano bowled today. All of us did our part out there. They did a great job batting. They were in for the long haul. Not much time left. So great. They stuck it out. We stuck it out.”

Australia have now moved to second on the ICC rankings.

You'll have to wait until Sunday for the T20.

Images via Getty


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Harris takes last two wickets as Australia win series against South Africa
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