Australia secure consolation victory in Adelaide

Australia secure consolation victory in Adelaide

Peter Handscomb of Australia and Matthew Renshaw of Australia celebrate winning the match during day four of the Third Test match between Australia and South Africa.

Australia also blooded dour opener in Matt Renshaw, who soaked up more than an hour in making 10 in the first innings and then spent 167 minutes at the crease for an unbeaten 34 in the second dig.

Asked how he would remember the series after all the furore surrounding the ball tampering verdict, which he has appealed, du Plessis was clear.

"I guess that makes it that little bit more sweet", Smith said.

Coach Darren Lehmann says Australia has learnt its lesson from the humiliation dished out to them when they gambled on a second string ODI attack in South Africa last month.

"They would be breathing a sigh of relief that at least by the third Test, the Australian side looks like its got its act together and it's not going to be a ratings disaster for the summer".

They, however, lost the three-match series 1-2 after losing the first two Tests. It was the start Australia needed to get to 383. He didn't seem fazed by it, he got on with the job and made them bowl to him.

But from where I sat, it was no different to what we get when we go on tour anywhere in the world and you've just got to put up with it. "It was nice for him and Pete, two guys on debut, to be there at the end".

Usman Khawaja, who scored 145 as his first innings spanned three days, lasted only two balls in the second innings before he was out lbw to Tabraiz Shamsi. South Africa resumed on its overnight score of 194 for 6 but could only add 56 runs before it was dismissed for 250.

South Africa's Stephen Cook reacts after scoring his first test century during the fourth day of the Third Test cricket match in Adelaide.

"For me, the difference in this match from an Australian perspective was that they just had someone that stuck in and scored big runs", du Plessis said, referring to Usman Khawaja's first-innings 145 - a knock which lasted nearly seven and a half hours.

Like all of us, he's just got to keep improving and he showed precisely that with his player of the match effort in Adelaide.

His retort to being booed onto the pitch at Adelaide, however, was an innings of 118 not out, a knock that might have said nothing about his integrity but spoke volumes about his ability to deal with pressure. "We came here to win the series....(it was) an incredible series and to win in Australia three times in a row is an awesome feat".

Du Plessis praised his bowlers, led by player-of-the-series Vernon Philander, for how they rattled the Australians in Steyn's absence.

"Mission successful", du Plessis said, reflecting on the three-match series.

Domingo confirmed that the totemic De Villiers would return as skipper for the home series against Sri Lanka if he has recovered from his elbow injury but paid tribute to the contribution of his temporary replacement. In Hobart, where the Australian batsmen made the wicket appear unplayable, de Kock scored a century and shared another important partnership with Bavuma that helped set South Africa on course for its massive victory.