A new-look Australian bowling attack stifled South Africa's in-form batsmen as the hosts eked out a thrilling five-run win in the second ODI to level the five-match cricket series 1-1 in Hobart on Sunday.
Put into bat, Australia at one stage looked certain to reach the 300-mark before South African bowlers bounced back to restrict them to a moderate 249 for nine with Shaun Marsh (78) and Ricky Ponting (64) shinning with the bat.
Twelfth man Morne Morkel, who was fielding as substitute during Australia's innings, did not clearly hear the insult, but a spokesman for the SA said the remark was "fairly unpleasant".
The alleged offender was arrested by a policeman at the ground who overheard the abuse. He was evicted from the ground and charged with racial vilification.
Cricket Australia has apologised to their South Africa counterpart for the incident.
Australia: S Marsh c Gibbs b Duminy 78, D Warner c Boucher b Steyn 5, R Ponting c de Villiers b Kallis 64, M Hussey c Gibbs b Kallis 28, D Hussey c Morkel b Ntini 19, C White c Botha b Steyn 1, B Haddin run out (Ntini) 23, J Hopes c Morkel b Ntini 8, R Harris c Duminy b Ntini 7, N Bracken not out 0; Extras: (LB 8, W8) 16; Total (for 9 wkts) 249; Fall of wkts: 1-17, 2-152, 3-166, 4-190, 5-197, 6-218, 7-232, 8-249, 9-249. Bowling: Steyn 10-2-36-2, Ntini 9-0-39-3, Kallis 10-0-57-2, Morkel 8-0-46-0, Botha 7-0-40-0, JP Duminy 6-0-23-1.
SA: Gibbs c Hussey b Hopes 19, Amla c White b Hilfenhaus 8, Kallis c D Hussey b Hilfenhaus 72, de Villiers run out 44, Duminy run out 35, N McKenzie b Harris 8, M Boucher not out 37, A Morkel not out 11; Extras: (B 3, LB 2, W 5) 10; Total: (for 6 wkts) 244; Fall of wkts: 1-15, 2-52, 3-145, 4-157, 5-172, 6-205. Bowling: Hilfenhaus 10-2-60-2, Bracken 10-0-38-0, Harris 10-0-54-1, Hopes 10-0-43-1, D Hussey 7-0-28-0, C White 3-0-16-0. PTI