(CNN) -- Centuries from captain Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla sealed a comprehensive eight-wicket victory for South Africa on day three of a pulsating first Test against Australia in Cape Town, earning a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
Opening batsman Smith finished unbeaten on 101 on Friday while Amla smashed his 13th Test ton as the home team successfully chased down a target of 236 for the loss of only two wickets, having bowled out Australia for just 47 on Thursday.
The tourists lost nine wickets for just 21 runs at the start of their second innings, eventually struggling to the fourth lowest Test total in the team's history.
Friday proved equally frustrating for Australia, with Amla's wicket the only one to fall after captain Michael Clarke took a catch off the bowling of Mitchell Johnson to dismiss the right-hander for 112 off 134 balls after a match-winning partnership of 195 with Smith.
"An interesting three days," Clarke told reporters. "Without doubt we let ourselves down with the bat. Full credit to South Africa, for how they bowled and the way they played today.
"We played disgraceful shots, horrendous shot selection. We let ourselves down with the ball. There was enough in the pitch during the whole game -- we got rolled for 47 when the sun was shining."
Clarke had hit a first-innings 151 in his 16th Test as full-time Australia captain, but the 30-year-old found no consolation in his own performance ahead of the second Test starting in Johannesburg on Thursday.
"No excuses," he said. "It was useless, a waste of time. A hundred is useful only if you help your team win. I'll forget about that pretty quickly."
Smith was quick to praise his bowlers, with debutant Vernon Philander named man of the match after taking an eight-wicket haul.
"Yesterday was a mind-boggle for all of us," the 30-year-old Smith said. "It's a win I need to give to the bowlers. They got us back in the game and set it up for us today. We showed a lot of resilience."
Philander, 26, was the pick of the hosts' bowlers on a thrilling Thursday, taking five wickets for 15 runs with his right-arm fast deliveries.
"Vernon has deserved his call-up," Smith said. "His stats in first-class cricket have been incredible. He had a wicket that he could work with and he made it count."