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Page last updated at 12:03 GMT, Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Smith savours 'greatest moment'

Graeme Smith
Smith averaged 75 with the bat in the 2008 Test calendar year

Captain Graeme Smith hailed his team's series win in Australia as the greatest moment in South Africa cricket history.

"It's got to be the best," he said. "It's the most incredible season South Africa has ever had, particularly with the results that we've had.

"I think the challenge is to maintain the levels that we've played at.

"For us, it's going to be an ongoing challenge to keep achieving standards we've set. Hopefully we stay fit and keep progressing to the next level."

Victory in the final Test in Sydney starting on 3 January would take South Africa above Australia at the top of the Test rankings.

"The balance of power is evening out in world cricket, and I think it's going to be evened out a little bit more now," Smith said. "Maybe other teams are moving into other eras, who knows?"

Australia, who have several injuries ahead of the final match of the series, face the prospect of their first whitewash in a home series.

"Obviously things have changed a little bit now," Smith said. "Credit to Australia, they've dominated world cricket for a decade now and they obviously enjoyed their time.

"It doesn't mean that they're going to be beaten in future tours or are going to be easy to beat.

"It's a real honour for us to sit here knowing we are the first team in 16 years to come and be victorious on these shores."


A personal accolade for the skipper is that of highest Test run-scorer in 2008.

The left-hander accumulated made 1,656 runs in the calendar year, the third highest in Test history behind Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf and West Indian legend Viv Richards.

The South Africans won 11 out of 15 Tests in 2008, losing two matches, winning the series in England and drawing in India.

Cricket South Africa chief executive Gerald Majola also savoured the victory and said: "I would like to congratulate the Proteas on their record-breaking Test series win over world champions Australia in their own back yard.

"We have seen a united effort by all - players, coaches and administrators - to strive for achieving CSA's vision of making cricket a truly national sport of winners."

The world's three leading news agencies are not covering the series due to a dispute with Cricket Australia.

Reuters, Agence France-Presse and Associated Press have suspended all coverage of the 2008-09 season.

Their photographers and reporters did not supply material from within the ground. As a result, we cannot use pictures from the current match.

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see also
Lee & Symonds to miss final Test
30 Dec 08 |  Australia
S Africa run chase stuns Aussies
21 Dec 08 |  Cricket

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