It was a remarkable turnround for the Australians. ``That was one of the sweetest victories I've been involved in,'' said captain Steve Waugh.
South Africa had been favourites, but the loss of strike bowler Allan Donald with a strained left buttock muscle derailed Hansie Cronje's side. The South Africans must regroup before the third and final Test starts in Adelaide on Friday. They are one-nil down.
They started badly yesterday when Gary Kirsten, named man of the series, was run out out for three. Jacques Kallis made 14 then trod on his stumps three balls after opener Adam Bacher was caught behind off a thick inside edge for a hard-hitting 45.
Waugh led from the front. After winning the toss and batting, he put on 102 in a fourth-wicket stand with Ricky Ponting. Waugh's 71 off 88 balls was by far his best of these championships.
Ponting hit 76 off 96 balls before being stumped by Richardson. Ponting's fourth half-century of the triangular series gave him an aggregate of 429 runs at 53.63, second only to Kirsten.