Whichever way you look at it, 492 is a lot of runs. But it was eight too few for some people at the Wanderers on Tuesday. South Africa beat Australia by those 492 runs in the fourth Test, marking the fourth-biggest victory by any team in terms of runs in the 2,302 matches yet played in the format. But, had Faf du Plessis’ team won by eight more runs, the reporters way up above the Wanderers would have been able to write that they had triumphed by “half a thousand” runs. That sounds like a small matter, but after a series that swung from one extreme to the other we would have taken all the superlatives we could get. Even so, South Africa’s success was momentous.  For the first time since 1970, and for only the third time in 15 all Test series the teams have contested in this country, South Africa won the rubber. And they had to bounce back to do it after losing the first match, at Kingsmead, by 118 runs. In response, Du Plessis’ side reeled off victories at St George’s Park, by six w...

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