Australia wrapped up victory over South Africa in style at Centurion, with Mitchell Johnson taking 12 wickets in the match to ensure a 281-run win.
South Africa, set a target of 482 for victory, were shot out inside a day for 200, with Johnson again the star of the show with figures of 5-59 in the innings.
The last paceman before Mitchell Johnson to claim 12 wkts in a Test vs South Africa: Matthew Hoggard (12/205) at Jo'burg in Jan 2005 #SAvAus— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) February 15, 2014
The Proteas, ranked the world's best Test side, leave the match battered and bruised—literally, in several cases—while the Australians' extraordinary run, which began with a 5-0 Ashes victory earlier in the winter, shows no sign of stopping.
Michael Clarke came out to bat on Day 4 with plenty of time still in the game. But after 15 minutes in the middle and just two runs added to the score, the skipper declared the innings and decided to have a go at the South African's when Dale Steyn claimed the wicket of Shaun Marsh.
It made perfect sense: The pitch was misbehaving and South Africa looked nervous facing the Australian pace attack.
|South Africa 2nd Innings||(1st Inns 206)||Australia 397 & 290-4 dec.|
|Petersen||c Haddin||b Johnson||1||8||9|
|Smith||c Doolan||b Johnson||4||20||10|
|Amla||c S Marsh||b Harris||35||123||71|
|du Plessis||lbw||b Siddle||18||56||47|
|AB de Villiers||c Smith||b Johnson||48||150||90|
|Duminy||c Doolan||b Johnson||10||64||60|
|McLaren||c Haddin||b Johnson||6||18||19|
|Steyn||c Clarke||b Harris||3||12||8|
|M Morkel||run out (Lyon)||1||12||4|
|Extras||1nb 11w 10b 5lb||27|
|Total||for 10||200||(59.4 ovs)|
Johnson struck in his first over, drawing an edge from Alviro Petersen, and again in his second, courtesy of a sensational catch from Alex Doolan at short leg to remove Graeme Smith.
The writing was on the wall already. The middle order showed fight for the Proteas, but by now the pitch was also unhelpful.
Faf du Plessis' resistance ended when a Peter Siddle delivery kept low, while Hashim Amla survived a brute of an opening delivery from Johnson and passed 6,000 Test runs, but he was removed on 35.
JP Duminy was then the victim of another quite astonishing Doolan catch.
Just before tea, Ryan McLaren was rapped on the helmet by Johnson, surviving only long enough to fend a short ball to the wicketkeeper, while AB de Villiers, again serene and comfortable against the pace assault, holed out on 48 as others floundered.
Vernon Philander played a few shots down the order, but the game had long since gone.
The crowds had come out in force to support South Africa, but late in the afternoon, they had almost all ebbed away.
South Africa will have to hope that the scars of this crushing defeat fade equally quickly, but the nature of Morne Morkel's run out to lose the final wicket suggests that their minds have been scrambled.