Second Test, Durban (result):
Australia 352 & 331-5 dec v South Africa 138 & 370-9
Australia celebrate taking the wicket of Paul Harris
Australia sealed a 175-run win against South Africa in the second Test in Durban to clinch victory in the series.
The hosts, needing 546 to win and level the three-match series, were dismissed for 370 as victory ensured Australia retained their number one Test ranking.
South Africa started the day on 244-2 but lost Jacques Kallis (93) and AB de Villiers (84) within the opening hour.
Peter Siddle and Simon Katich each took three wickets as the tourists avenged their home loss earlier this year.
"I am extremely proud of our whole group," said Australia captain Ricky Ponting.
We have played some amazing cricket in the first two Tests
"Coming here we had our backs to the wall but we got together as a really tight group before the first Test and decided we would give ourselves a really good chance of being competitive in this series.
"We knew how close the series was back home [South Africa won it 2-1] and we couldn't quite get over the line in a couple of matches.
"But here we have put our best foot forward and played some amazing cricket in the first two Tests.
"The debutants have been unbelievable and we are going to celebrate accordingly. Whenever you can bounce back from a loss against a very good side like South Africa, it is very satisfying."
A series loss for Australia would have seen South Africa replace them as the best Test team in the world rankings, but defeat in the second of the three matches never seemed likely - especially after Kallis fell to Mitchell Johnson.
The paceman found the edge and Ponting was on hand for the catch, while De Villiers, who had put on 187 for the third wicket with Kallis, soon fell as he pushed forward at Siddle and was caught behind by Brad Haddin.
Wickets continued to fall with Mark Boucher (25) and Morne Morkel (24) offering only brief resistance as Australia closed out the win.
It is a huge disappointment but I still think there's a big future for this team
"Australia kept us under pressure for long periods," said South Africa captain Graeme Smith, who was unable to bat after fracturing his little finger.
"We have got to be honest, take it on the chin and bounce back as soon as possible.
"They have been two very disappointing Test matches here especially after what we have achieved in the last 12 to 16 months. We just haven't been able to maintain that intensity we have been used to.
"It is a huge disappointment but I still think there's a big future for this team."