sport

Smith and Clarke praise Steyn

South Africa skipper Graeme Smith was full of pride after his side levelled the Test series against Australia with victory in Port Elizabeth.

Chasing an unlikely 448 for victory, Australia's opening pair of Chris Rogers (107) and David Warner (66) shared a stand of 126 to frustrate their hosts.

However, the departure of Warner to the part-time spin of JP Duminy signalled a dramatic collapse in the final session of the fourth day. The tourists lost nine wickets after tea, none of the rest of their order scoring more than six.

"It was a tough week building into this game," a delighted Smith said at the presentation ceremony. "There was a lot of emotion in the public and our media certainly made it count.

"The key then was to prepare well and to focus on what was important going into this Test match.

"I'm so proud of the guys for the way they performed, particularly key guy who were under a bit of pressure coming in.

"For us to take 20 wickets in four days on that wicket, I'm very proud of the bowlers.

"With talk of rain tomorrow, there were always a few nerves around. To finish the game tonight was great drama for Test cricket, and great drama for the crowd who stayed right until the end."

Smith was quick to single out Dale Steyn for special praise, the paceman having claimed figures of 4-55 in the second innings.

He dismissed Michael Clarke and Steve Smith with successive deliveries and also clean bowled Brad Haddin in spectacular fashion, showing he was back to form after being troubled by illness in the opening Test defeat at Centurion.

High expectations

"He sets such high expectations for himself that when he doesn't take five wickets in each game then people start asking questions," Smith said of Steyn.

"I think he got the bit between his teeth and we got the ball reverse swinging. We know the quality of the man, he's done it time and time again for us.

"All-in-all the whole attack, even the part-time spinners, produced for their roles."

Australia skipper Michael Clarke admitted that his side had been outplayed in all facets of the game, meaning there is work to do heading into the third and final Test at Newlands.

"Our first innings was crucial - credit to South Africa, they outplayed us throughout this entire Test match with both the ball and the bat.

"Today Dale Steyn's execution with reverse swing was class.

"We knew that coming into this series that we were facing a fantastic attack and it was going to be tough. We were disappointing in this Test match and we've got some work to do before Cape Town.

"The start we got today from Chris and David - we probably assessed conditions and thought that was going to be the best time to bat, up against the new ball."

On the series decider, which gets underway on March 1, he added: "It's going to be a great Test match, there's no doubt about it. We've got a few areas that we are going to be working on, but it's exciting for the game. Now we've got a chance to win the series in Cape Town."