Have we just witnessed Ricky Ponting's finest hour (to date)?
That was a bold declaration by Graeme Smith this morning, but full credit to him for doing it and keeping the match alive. South African captains and sporting declarations usually come in the same breath as leather jackets and personal cash bonuses, so infrequently have they occurred.
I do think, however, that Smith made the declaration too early and should have batted till lunch or maybe an over or three beforehand. It was a case of South Africa needing to take all ten wickets, or else Australia would get the required 287. As it turns out, they only dismissed two.
At the end of the day, South Africa's bowling wasn't good enough. Nel was their best bowler throughout the series and he just fell down the proverbial hole today. Hayden and Ponting grabbed control of what really ended up being a crushing win, despite the fact that (a) it was the largest winning fourth-innings total ever in a Sydney Test, and (b) South Africa was on top for most of the game.
Yes, twin tons twice this summer for Ricky, I haven't looked it up yet but I'm pretty sure that's a first for an Australian home Test season.