Faf du Plessis stimulates draw for South Africa – 2nd Test vs. Australia

South Africa 1st innings 388 (Graeme Smith 122, Faf du Plessis 78, Jacques Kallis 58, Ben Hilfenhaus 3-49) second innings 8-248 (Faf du Plessis 110*, Jacques Kallis 46, Peter Siddle 4-65) drew with Australia 1st innings 550 (Michael Clarke 230, David Warner 119, Michael Hussey 103, Morne Morkel 5-146) 2nd innings 8-267 declared (Michael Hussey 54, Warner 41, Morkel 3-50)

A spirited batting by the South African debutant, Faf du Plessis, pulled draw from the jaws of Australia who was sure to win the second Test on the fifth day.

Australia thrashed 550 runs in the first innings and declared their second innings at 8-267. South Africa managed 388 runs in their first innings and fought well to save the Test by scoring 8-248 runs in the second innings.

Faf du Plessis - A wonderful beginning of his Test career
Faf du Plessis – A wonderful beginning of his Test career

Faf du Plessis (South Africa) was declared ‘Player of the match’ for his wonderful match saving innings on his debut.

The second Test concluded on Monday, November 26, 2012, at Adelaide Oval.

Earlier, the Proteas started the day in a dismal position at 77 runs after losing four wickets in 50 overs. AB de Villiers was at the crease for 12 off 101 balls and Faf du Plessis secured his end for 19 from 74 deliveries and both of them played unusual innings of their career. Peter Siddle started the proceedings of the fifth day for Australia and his first over resulted in eight runs. The next over produced three runs as the batsmen decided to kill the time instead of playing their shots and the next five overs ended as a maiden.

Faf du Plessis hit the second four of the day in the 58th over and the pair added another couple of runs in the next before they went through another chain of six maiden overs. Faf du Plessis was declared leg before wickets off Michael Clarke on the second ball of the 66th over at 33 but the third umpire turned down the decision of the field umpire once it was reviewed. The duo kept on creeping and the first hundred of the innings was displayed on board in the 67th over.

Clarke had an identical appeal for lbw against du Plessis who was given out again on the fifth ball of the 68th over but the third umpire gave a sigh of relief to the batsman by favouring him on the review. Australia took the new ball in the 81st over as the Proteas reached 126 after 85 overs at lunch without losing any wicket on the final day.

Faf du Plessis smashed his consecutive fifty on his debut Test on the fourth ball of the 86th over with a four that was earned by consuming 181 balls. The Kangaroos got the first breakthrough of the day when AB de Villiers was clean bowled by Peter Siddle for a hard fought 33 runs off 220 deliveries without a single four. Jacques Kallis joined in next with du Plessis and the first got a lucky break when he was dropped by Nathan Lyon on his own bowling for just six runs. Faf du Plessis hit a couple of fours in the 95th over and repeated it four overs later.

Kallis preferred to attack, got 2 fours in the next over and the second hundred of the innings was reached in the 115th over. Faf du Plessis was dropped at 94 runs by the wicket keeper Matthew Wade off Ben Hilfenhaus on the fifth ball of the 117th over. That was a costly let off by the keeper and tea was taken after that over as the visitors scored 212 runs with half of their side back in the pavilion.

Faf du Plessis thrashed his maiden Test ton on his debut on the second ball of the 128th over on 310th ball he faced with 13 fours. Jacques Kallis was caught by Ed Cowan off Nathan Lyon in the next over for 46 off 110 balls with 6 fours. The sixth wicket was lost at 233 runs in 128.1 overs when the tail was exposed against the Australian bowling. Dale Steyn stuck to the task with dedication, he played off 36 deliveries and went out for a duck. Faf du Plessis held his end with the able assistance of the tail enders as Rory Kleinveldt became the eighth victimafter scoring three runs off 17 balls.

The Australian skipper, Michael Clarke, deployed seven bowlers to vanish the tail but remained unsuccessful in the presence of du Plessis. Morne Morkel hit 2 fours in the last over of the day as South Africa saved the match. Faf Du Plessis remained unbeaten after his heroic knock of 110 off 376 deliveries in 464 minutes, Morne Morkel was at the other end for 8 as South Africa ended up with 8-248 in 148 overs.

Peter Siddle was the most successful bowler with four wickets, Nathan Lyon held three and Ben Hilfenhaus claimed one wicket.

The electrifying second Test ended in a draw, the heroic innings on debut from Faf du Plessis will be remembered forever and the three match series is levelled at 0-0. The fate of the series will be decided in the third Test which will commence from November 30, 2012, at Perth.


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