Adelaide - Debutant Faf du Plessis batted
throughout the final day for a defiant unbeaten century to guide South
Africa to a thrilling draw against Australia in the second Adelaide Test
Man-of-the-match du Plessis occupied the crease for
almost eight hours in a feat of physical and mental endurance to ensure
the Proteas avoided defeat and take the three-Test series to a decider
starting in Perth on Friday.
Australia must win the series to take the world number one ranking from South Africa.
Australia v South Africa 2nd Test Day 5 Highlights
a gripping finish, lion-hearted fast bowler Peter Siddle had Dale Steyn
caught at mid-wicket for a duck and then bowled Rory Kleinveldt (3)
with a yorker deep inside the final hour of play.
Siddle gave everything in the final over of the Test in search of the last two wickets but Morne Morkel held on.
was the second time the South Africans had batted out for a draw in the
series after denying Australia's unlikely victory push in the Brisbane
opener earlier this month.
At stumps Du Plessis, who needed physio
treatment for cramps late in the day, was unconquered on 110 with
Morkel not out eight in South Africa's 248 for eight.
who scored 78 in the first innings, reached his dogged century in his
maiden Test with a cover drive for two off Ben Hilfenhaus in the hour
He was at the crease for 464 minutes and faced 376
balls in his draining knock. He survived two reviews after being given
out by umpire Billy Bowden and was dropped by wicketkeeper Matthew Wade
Du Plessis had his life on the penultimate ball before tea
when Wade failed to hold a tough chance while standing up to the stumps
to paceman Hilfenhaus.
He was also given out on 33 when he padded
up and did not offer a shot to Michael Clarke's spin. But he stayed put
after a review found the ball had pitched just outside the line.
Plessis was given out again by umpire 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.
The allrounder's joy at reaching his milestone was tempered by the loss of the injury-restricted Kallis five balls later.
was caught off bat and pad at short leg by Ed Cowan off Nathan Lyon for
46 to end a gritty 99-run stand in 149 minutes with du Plessis.
champion allrounder had been dropped by Lyon in a leaping caught and
bowled chance on six. He played an invaluable knock even though
restricted in his mobility by a hamstring injury.
The Proteas lost
the wicket of AB de Villiers shortly after lunch when he was bowled by
Peter Siddle for 33 with one that nipped back to clip off-stump.
de Villiers faced 220 balls in his stoic boundary-less knock in a study
of concentration, putting on 89 runs for the fifth wicket with du
Plessis in 68 overs.
The Proteas gave no thought to chasing down a
huge and unlikely victory target of 430, scoring 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. The record overall
winning chase is 418 by the West Indies against Australia in 2003.