South Africa celebrated their long-heralded arrival at the summit of Test cricket in 2012 while West Indies enjoyed their first world title since the team's 1970s heyday with a maiden Twenty20 trophy.

The giddy heights proved too much for England whose year-long reign as the number one Test nation ended at Lord's with a 2-0 series thumping by Graeme Smith's South Africa in August.

The Proteas appear determined to build a dynasty as they backed up their coronation with a 1-0 series win in Australia to finish an exhausting year unbeaten in 10 Tests, with nine of them coming on tour.

Smith, who became the most-capped captain of all time during 2012, could rely on world-class performers throughout his side.

The fearsome fast bowling trio of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander were supplemented by the evergreen all-round talents of Jacques Kallis while Hashim Amla can lay claim to being the most consistent batsman in world cricket.

West Indies have had little to celebrate since their all-conquering days ended in the early 1990s, but victory over hosts Sri Lanka in the World Twenty20 final gave the Caribbean side their biggest prize since the one-day championship in 1979.

Marlon Samuels blasted a 56-ball 78 after flamboyant Chris Gayle failed with the bat in the 36-run win. But Gayle made amends with his rendition of the horse-riding dance made famous by South Korean pop sensation Psy in his hit "Gangnam Style".

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Keywords:South Africa , Test cricket , Twenty20 trophy, England ,Graeme Smith, captain , Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel , Vernon Philander ,Jacques Kallis , Hashim Amla, batsman , world cricket, championship ,Marlon Samuels,flamboyant Chris Gayle ,South Korean pop,Gangnam Style,cricket news,sports news