South Africa's Faf du Plessis gestures as Australia's Peter
Siddle kicks the air. REUTERS/Regi Varghese
Faf du Plessis scored an inspirational century on debut
to carry South Africa to a draw in the second test against
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 at the Adelaide Oval.
Australia paceman Peter Siddle and spinner Nathan Lyon
captured late wickets to leave South Africa wobbling at 240
for eight, 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 was 248 for eight 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.
"Faf was outstanding to make a 100 on debut," Clarke said.
"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, but
Lyon struck to have Kallis caught for 38.
Siddle raised the tension by dismissing Dale Steyn for a duck
for the seventh wicket.
Exhausted but charging in on pure adrenaline, Siddle bowled
Rory Kleinveldt with a yorker to spark a roar from the
spectators, but Morkel proved rock solid at the close and
scored a pair of boundaries to defuse the threat in the final
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.
Australia was 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.
The first review showed the ball pitching slightly outside
leg stump before cannoning into Du Plessis' pad, while the
second showed the ball had never touched the all-rounder's
leg and had actually deflected off his bat.