ADELAIDE, Australia: Faf du Plessis batted all day on Monday to help South Africa salvage a draw in the second test against Australia on Monday by reaching 248-8 at stumps on the last day at the Adelaide Oval.
Faf du Plessis and Jacques Kallis were stonewalling Australia’s efforts with a stoic partnership on an unthreatening Adelaide pitch to reach 212 for five.
The Proteas only lost the wickets of AB de Villiers, DW Styne and RK Kleinveldt on the final day and proved obstinate resistance as Australia sought a series-leading victory ahead of the Test in Perth from Friday.
Australia- 550 (Michael Clarke 230, David Warner 119, Mike Hussey 103; Morne Morkel 5—146, Jacques Kallis 2—19) and 267—8 dec. (Mike Hussey 54, David Warner 41, Michael Clarke 38, James Pattinson 29 not out; Morne Morkel 3—50, Rory Kleinveldt 3—65, Dale Steyn 2—50).
South Africa- 388 (Graeme Smith 122, Faf du Plessis 78, Jacques Kallis 58; Ben Hilfenhaus 3—49, Nathan Lyon 2—91, Peter Siddle 2—130) and 248—8 (Faf du Plessis 110 not out, Jacques Kallis 46, AB de Villiers 33; Peter Siddle 4—54, Nathan Lyon 3—49).
At tea, Du Plessis, playing in his debut Test, was unbeaten on 94 off 277 balls with Kallis, unable to run freely because of hamstring trouble, not out 38.
Peter Siddle got the initial breakthrough when he bowled de Villiers with one that nipped back to take off-stump shortly after lunch.
De Villiers faced 220 balls for his stoic 33 with not one boundary in his study of concentration, putting on 89 runs for the fifth wicket with du Plessis in 68 overs.
Siddle bowled with typical gusto to help make up for the absence of injured fast bowler James Pattinson, who has been ruled out for the rest of the home Test season with a side injury.
Australia need to win the three-Test series against the Proteas to take the world number one ranking from South Africa.
The Proteas, chasing a huge and unlikely target of 430 runs to win the Test, has scored just 135 runs on the final day off 67 overs up to tea.
The most successful fourth innings run chase at the Adelaide Oval stands at the 315-6 Australia scored 110 years ago to overhaul England, while the record overall winning chase is 418 by the West Indies against Australia in 2003.
Du Plessis had a big moment on 33 when he padded up and did not offer a shot to Michael Clarke and was given out leg before wicket. But he stayed put after a review found the ball had pitched just outside the line.
Du Plessis, who scored 78 in the first innings, was given out again by umpire Billy Bowden after an lbw appeal by Clarke on 37, but another review showed there was no contact with the pad and the debutant batted on.
With inputs from AFP