There was to be no miracle win for either side in Brisbane and both Australia and South Africa were forced to settle for a draw in the opening Test at the Gabba.
Australia declared on 565 for five after Michael Hussey scored 100 and South Africa closed on 166 for five, an overall lead of 51.
Michael Clarke advanced his personal score from 218 to 259 not out when the declaration came, shortly after Hussey had been caught by substitute Faf du Plessis off Morne Morkel.
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It brought to an end the partnership between Clarke and Hussey which was worth 227 for the fifth wicket. Matthew Wade was unbeaten on 19 and Clarke faced 398 deliveries, hitting 27 fours in all before deciding that a lead of 125 was enough to put South Africa under some pressure.
A quick double strike from James Pattinson to remove openers Graeme Smith (23) and Alviro Petersen (6) gave Australia hope but they were blunted - again - by first-innings centurions Hashim Amla's 38 and Jacques Kallis's 49.
Both men fell, to Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon respectively, before AB de Villiers dug in to make 29 not out in 114 balls to shepherd South Africa to safety.
There was one more scare left for the Proteas when Jacques Rudolph was trapped in front by Lyon for 11 but it came too late to effect the outcome of the game.
Clarke was named as the man of the match for his third double-century since taking over the captaincy and it is unfortunate that the entire second day was lost to rain, denying everybody what might have been an exciting finish.
The two sides move on to Adelaide where the second Test begins on 22nd November.
© Cricket World 2012
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