The South Africans formed a guard of honour when Ponting strode to the crease, with the Tasmanian shaking hands with South Africa skipper Graeme Smith as he came out.
Perth: Ricky Ponting's 17-year Test career came to an end just before lunch on the fourth day of the third Test against South Africa at the WACA on Monday after he had made eight runs.
The 37-year-old, the second highest run scorer in Test cricket, said on the eve of his 168th match it would be his last.
The South Africans formed a guard of honour when he strode to the crease, with the Tasmanian shaking hands with Proteas skipper Smith as he came out. Ponting got off the mark with a trademark pull shot for four off Morkel.
South African spinner Robin Peterson took the prize wicket, having the former Australia captain caught in the slips by Jacques Kallis to leave the hosts 102 for 3 chasing an improbable 632 for victory.
Ponting stopped his walk back to the pavilion to raise his bat and acknowledge the cheering crowd, while the Proteas halted their celebrations to offer more applause.
He finishes his career with 13,378 Test runs at 51.85, including 41 centuries. Ponting also shares the record for Test appearances for his country with his predecessor as Australian captain, Steve Waugh.