The incomparable Shane Warne has bagged six wickets to lead the sinking of South Africa's second innings for 297 and give Australia a gripping, series-clinching 112-run win in the second Test at Kingsmead in Durban.
Warne finished with 6-86 from 35.5 overs and Stuart Clark, Brett Lee and Michael Kasprowicz shared the other four wickets as the Proteas' innings folded with just six overs to spare in fading light.
Australian captain Ricky Ponting spent most of the day at his team's hotel, recovering from a stomach upset, but he was at the ground to see the thrilling finish.
Warne's match figures of 8-166 off 60.5 overs, including 2-80 off 25 overs in the first innings, lifted his wicket-tally to 670 at the superb average of 25.16 in 137 Tests.
Victory looked to be well within Australia's grasp when South Africa slipped to 7-181 in the 60th over, but Mark Boucher and Nicky Boje dug in defiantly to add 72 in 19.4 overs.
Left-hander Boje hit nine boundaries on his way to 48 before he drove Kasprowicz uppishly and Michael Clarke, substituting for Ponting, reached high to his left at short extra cover to take a sharp catch - 8-253.
Man-of-the-match Warne bowled one more over with the old ball, then the new one was taken by Lee at 8-258 after 81.1 overs, with the light deteriorating and rain threatening.
Boucher found another able ally in Andre Nel, and, in a tense struggle, they added 39 while resisting the Australians for 16 overs until Nel (14 off 46 balls) gloved a Warne leg-break to Matthew Hayden at slip - 9-292.
Makhaya Ntini gloved the second ball he faced - from Warne - but Adam Gilchrist missed the sharp chance.
Ntini's scoreless 13-ball stay ended when he padded up to a Warne wrong 'un and was adjudged leg-before by umpire Billy Doctrove, and the jubilant Australians rushed to congratulate Warne, while Boucher was left unbeaten on a fighting 51, with nine fours, off 156 balls.
South Africa started the last day at 0-29 off 7.1 overs, with AB de Villiers on 17 and Graeme Smith 10, and progressed to 91 in the 24th over before Warne grabbed 3-13 in 32 balls.
He drew de Villiers (46) out of his crease for a slick stumping to Gilchrist, tempted Smith (40) to sweep and get a glove - or was it a forearm? - to Justin Langer at leg slip and he enticed Jacques Kallis (7) to sweep daringly at a ball that hit him on the back pad for a leg-before decision.
South Africa was suddenly 3-122 off 36.5 overs, and six balls later it was 4-122 when Herschelle Gibbs (17) tried to defend a brute of a lifter from Clark and was caught at first slip by Warne.
The Proteas went to lunch at 4-128 off 40 overs, having lost 4-99 off 32.5 overs, including 4-29 in 13.2 overs wicket to wicket.
Ashwell Prince (7) left eight overs after the break, ducking awkwardly into another lifter from Clark and gloving a catch to Mike Hussey at forward square leg - and South Africa was desperately placed at 5-146.
Warne swooped again to have Jacques Rudolph (36) caught pad-glove by Hussey at silly point and, three overs later, Lee bowled Shaun Pollock (4) to leave the Proteas tottering at 7-181.
Then Boucher, Boje and Nel combined to frustrate the anxious bowlers until Kasprowicz intervened and Warne worked his magic again to ensure Australia took a 2-0 lead into the third Test starting at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Friday.