It's been a great journey - South Africa's Morkel going out on a high

Morne Morkel reflected on "a great journey" as he bowed out for South Africa in a 3-1 series win over Australia.

The retiring bowler collected his 300th Test wicket earlier in the series and was able to play a part as a comprehensive 492-run victory was sealed in Johannesburg.

And Morkel is delighted that he was able to end his career with a momentous triumph, hailing an "unbelievable" experience.

"It's tough to put into words," said Morkel, whose 86 Tests yielded 309 wickets at 27.66. "I'm obviously very emotional. It's been a great journey.

"I'm so grateful for all the opportunities I was given and to go out on a high, especially the way we did, is a special feeling.

"It's funny how things work out. The main thing is just to always keep on working hard, to make the most of your opportunities. I'm saying goodbye to a special bunch of guys, but it was unbelievable."

Morkel was struggling with injury in the fourth Test, but he never considered bowing out early as he sought to make the most of his final match.

"There was no way I was going to sit in the changing room for the last two days," he said. "They would have had to put me in a straitjacket.

"I managed to get through a couple of overs and was able to enjoy that one last time."

However, Morkel added his gratitude to Vernon Philander and his 6-21 that carried the Proteas to a crushing victory.

"Thank you, Vernon Philander," he added. "There were a couple of sore bodies in the changing room, but Vernon was on the money this morning. We're going to celebrate a lot tonight."

And Philander paid tribute to his departing team-mate.

"Morne was playing in his final Test match so it was a pretty emotional one," he said. "What a way to celebrate it.

"We're going to miss Morne, his jokes in the changing room, his demeanour on the field, his leadership and support off the field."

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