Du Plessis carries South Africa to draw

IAN RANSOM
Last updated 21:07 26/11/2012
Faf du Plessis
Getty Images

EYE ON THE BALL: Faf du Plessis of South Africa bats during day five of the second test.

Faf du Plesis and AB de Villiers
MORNE DE KLERK/ Getty
Faf du Plesis and AB de Villiers walk from the field in Adelaide together. They are defying Australia, making it through the morning session of day five.

Relevant offers

Cricket

Jimmy Anderson and Steve Finn regain venom as Australia fall apart at seams Black Caps leg-spinner Ish Sodhi believes he can enhance team's one-day game Adam Voges snares an unbelievable catch off Alastair Cook during third Ashes test Australian players unhappy wicketkeeper Brad Haddin left out for third Ashes test The Ashes: England dominate Australia on day one of third test at Edgbaston Former Black Cap Chris Cairns a no-show for London perjury hearing Australia wrong to drop Brad Haddin for third Ashes test, says Ricky Ponting Graeme Swann mocks Kevin Pietersen with clever impersonation on Aussie radio show England outcast Steven Finn ready for test recall against Australia at Edgbaston Berry: Edgbaston crowd must fire up batsman Ian Bell to relaunch career in style

Faf du Plessis carried his bat for more than seven hours and scored an inspirational century on debut to carry South Africa to a morale-boosting draw in the second test against Australia on Monday.

The 28-year-old was grit personified in a tension-filled fifth and final day, compiling an unbeaten 110 to steer the Proteas to safety in the stifling heat of the Adelaide Oval.

Australia paceman Peter Siddle and spinner Nathan Lyon captured late wickets to leave South Africa wobbling at 240-8, but all-rounder Du Plessis and Morne Morkel survived the drama-filled final overs to leave the series tied at 0-0 after the drawn first test in Brisbane.

South Africa were 248-8 at the close, 182 runs behind the 430-run target Australia captain Michael Clarke set for victory, with Morkel unbeaten on eight.The third and final test starts in Perth on Friday, a quick turnaround for two teams who will be carrying injuries and battling fatigue after five days in Adelaide’s baking heat.

‘‘Faf was outstanding to make a 100 on debut,’’ Clarke told ABC radio in a pitchside interview.

‘‘It’s just unfortunate that the wicket was very good to bat still today.‘‘It’s disappointing we didn’t win the test ... but we’ve got to get up for Perth.’’

Du Plessis and Kallis seemed set to frustrate the hosts again after scoring a big partnership in the first innings and guiding their team past the follow-on, but Lyon struck to have Kallis caught for 38 and give Australia renewed hope.

BOILING POINT

Siddle raised the tension to boiling point by dismissing Dale Steyn for a duck with a full toss that was pushed straight to Rob Quiney in close for the seventh wicket.

Exhausted but charging in on pure adrenalin, Siddle bowled Rory Kleinveldt with a yorker to spark a roar from the thousands of enthralled spectators, but Morkel proved rock solid at the close and scored a pair of boundaries to defuse the threat in the final over.

Du Plessis was earlier made to wait five nervous overs on 98, but brought up his 100th run with a drive through the covers for two off the bowling of Ben Hilfenhaus.

Siddle earlier bowled AB de Villiers with a stinging off-cutter through the gate to remove the wicketkeeper for 33 and end the fifth-wicket partnership after a marathon 68 overs that started shortly after tea on day four.Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade missed a regulation catch on the second-last ball before tea, grassing a nick from Du Plessis off the bowling of Hilfenhaus to leave his team demoralised.

The miss capped a forgettable test for Wade, who scored six and 18 with the bat and fumbled a golden stumping chance in the first innings that would have dismissed Graeme Smith for 46, the South Africa captain going on to score a fighting 122.Australia were frustrated twice by referral decisions, after Clarke had Du Plessis trapped in front immediately before and after the drinks break.Both were given out and both decisions overturned on video review by the batsman.

Ad Feedback

The first review showed the ball pitching slightly outside leg stump before cannoning into Du Plessis’s pad, while the second showed the ball had never touched any part of the all-rounder’s leg and had actually deflected off his bat.

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should bouncers be banned from cricket?

Yes - they're too dangerous

Neutral - it is what it is

No - it's just bad luck when it goes wrong

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content