x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Captain Ponting savours the moment

Ricky Ponting pointed to Australia's ability to win "big moments" against South Africa as key to their 162-run triumph.

Ricky Ponting pointed to Australia's ability to win "big moments" against South Africa as key to their 162-run triumph. But the Proteas captain Graeme Smith said his players let themselves down, and vowed to fight back when the second Test starts later this week. South Africa won the recent three-match series in Australia 2-1 but their defeat at the New Wanderers Stadium means they have lost two Tests in a row to the world's top-ranked team.

The Australian captain Ponting said: "Let's not get too carried away. We know that South Africa are a very good cricket team and we'll expect them to bounce back. "I think we've played some excellent cricket over the last five days. I think differently from the series in Australia, when the big moments were theirs, in this game I think it was us who stood up and did what we needed to do and won those moments."

He added: "There were some outstanding individual performances through the game. Everybody at different times through the game has contributed which has been very satisfying and one thing that I said was lacking in Australia. So for me it's very satisfying." But Smith said: "We let ourselves down. We were out-performed skill-wise by Australia, we lacked control, discipline and focus. We won't hide from the fact the performance was not up to the standards we expect."

Mitchell Johnson, who was named man-of-the-match for his eight wickets in the match and 96 not out, said: "It was a very enjoyable Test for me. "To be able to be out there with Northy [Marcus North] when he got a hundred and to put on a partnership like we did was exciting for me." * With agencies