Australia v South Africa, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 5th day

Du Plessis survives three reviews and an edge

Plays of the Day from the final day of the Adelaide Test

Firdose Moonda at Adelaide Oval

November 26, 2012

Comments: 33 | Text size: A | A

Ben Hilfenhaus collides with David Warner as Faf du Plessis is dropped by Matthew Wade, Australia v South Africa, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 5th day, November 26, 2012
Ben Hilfenhaus collides with David Warner as Faf du Plessis is dropped by Matthew Wade in the last over before tea © Getty Images

The good review
Faf du Plessis looked a goner when he was on 33 and did not offer a shot to Michael Clarke. Billy Bowden gave him lbw. He reviewed immediately and replays showed that most of the ball had pitched outside leg. The ball had turned and probably would have hit off stump but that did not matter.

The better review
Two overs later, Clarke thought he had du Plessis lbw again, on 37, and so did Billy Bowden. But again, DRS was called on. The ball had pitched in line but it had not made any contact with du Plessis' pad or boot. Even without Hotspot, it was clear that he had hit the ball. The white mark was eventually visible and du Plessis survived again.

The bad review
After giving du Plessis out twice incorrectly, Bowden was not going to take another chance. When Nathan Lyon appealed for lbw, Bowden was unmoved and this time Clarke turned to technology. The ball turned a significant amount and the tracker showed the bounce would have carried it over the stumps. On 48, Du Plessis was given another life and he made it count.

The drop
It was a tough chance, but if Australia needed to win the Test they had to take it. Matthew Wade was standing up to Ben Hilfenhaus and had very little time to react to du Plessis' thin edge. In the last over before tea and du Plessis was on 94.

The celebration
After all of that, du Plessis saw off ten overs and one ball after tea before he was finally able to raise his bat. An understated drive through cover and two jogged runs made him the fourth batsman to score a hundred on debut for South Africa, and the first to have a half-century and century to his name. Du Plessis raised the bat demurely, acknowledged the dressing room and gave Jacques Kallis a bear hug. There was no leaping or shouting, just quiet recognition. Much was left to do.

The exhausted cricketer
Du Plessis had batted a day and more but it was Peter Siddle who was more spent. After bowling 63.5 overs in the match, he had every right to be. With four minutes to go, Siddle was handed the ball to have one last burst. He looked to the sky, he looked to the ground, he had a few sips of his drink, Ben Hilfenhaus walked him to his mark and then he said something to himself. At the non-striker's end was du Plessis. He barely moved as he watched Morne Morkel take guard and then turned to look at Siddle. Two tired men, one winner.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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Posted by RIKSHAW on (November 27, 2012, 4:33 GMT)

How can you think that if part of a ball pitches in line with the stumps. the ball is round not square.

Posted by Monday301 on (November 27, 2012, 2:37 GMT)

Everyone knows " a win is a win, it does not matter if it is by an inch or a mile". So for all the dominance by the Australian team the two teams are locked at 0-0. It is amazing how so many people foolishly can look at this game and say Aus or even Saffa have the advantage going into the Peth test. With both the team packed with quality players - it can take only one session (fiery spell by steyn or warner going halloo or someone else) to change the course of the game and then nothing that has happened it the previous two games will matter.

Posted by Meety on (November 27, 2012, 1:12 GMT)

@David Kuhlwilm - re: Tahir v Lyon - the age difference is fair & the fact that Tahir has many, many more FC matches v Lyon & played FC cricket in Pakistan, England & Sth Africa, I think that was a faircall by Indyman. @Marcio on (November 26 2012, 11:37 AM GMT) - if it was a Boxing match, the Saffas were technically knocked out on Day 1. But it's not - I thought that the Saffas fought back convincingly on Day 2. Day 3 We smashed them early, but again the Saffas fought back & had an outside sniff of a win. Day 4 was all Oz, Day 5 was all Saffas. Only one side could win it over the last 2 days, but to say the Saffas were "terrible" for 80% IMO, belittles both Oz & Sth Africa. We should beat a terribly performing side in 3 days.

Posted by EJ72 on (November 26, 2012, 19:48 GMT)

Cliche but true... Test cricket must be the only sport where you can celebrate a win. Australia totally dominated us this series. As much as I hate to say it Clarke is definately man of the series.... BUT... given the run of play, pulling two draws out of this is like being naughty at school and getting away with it.

Posted by Ozzy505 on (November 26, 2012, 15:28 GMT)

@ GsterinPE You state that " To be world number one you have to win your tests at home." Well go & check Cricinfo's archives for SA's home results over the last 4/5 years before you make ridiculous statements like that. I don't think this Aus side deserves to be no.1 as yet, but I prefer their brand of cricket to the current no.1 side who are fast becoming masters at avoiding defeat.

Posted by Warren_K78 on (November 26, 2012, 14:50 GMT)

@Marcio - grab onto something quick, before you fall off the edge of your flat earth. Your bitter and one eyed "analysis" that you are sharing on a number of the articles about this fascinating test are very tiresome. Yes, SA were on the wrong end for most of the match, but the grit and determination they showed to save the match was incredibly admirable. Think about what you would think about your team if they shipped nearly 500 on day one, barely avoided the follow on, then were 4 down for under 50 with still 4 sessions to go. I'd say your comments would be remarkably different. There's very little chance to chase down a record target when your top order has been blown away. If you think otherwise, then you are clearly a very naive tactician and should stick to T20 and not bother with the 3rd test.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 13:52 GMT)

My 2 cents: SA lost Duminy for the whole of the 1st test and got a draw in a 10 v 11 game. In this game we lose Philander (with De Lange not even touring), Kallis breaks after taking 2 wickets in 3.3 overs (and at that stage aus were 111/3 if I recall, pretty even). Steyn also misses most of day 1. Now surely you must be impaired if you want to knock SA after having to deal with all that and get to the end of the 2nd game all square. Yes Aus were beating the drum, but so did Foreman against Ali and no one ever knocks Ali for that victory!

Regarding the DRS, Aus picked up a win in Jhb last year when Tahir hit Cummins 2mm outside the line of legstump with 8 wickets down. SA get that call and we win the series 2-0 (methinks). Yet no one was crying down here. You would think being so good at this game as Aus would instill some class but clearly missing out on a win by a scrapping, fighting, injured opponent can make one bitter beyond reason!

SA deserve no1 on this showing!

Posted by HatsforBats on (November 26, 2012, 12:41 GMT)

@satish619chandar; it is strange. Bowden gave it out. He deemed that the ball pitched in line and was going on to hit the stumps. DRS suggested more than half the ball pitched outside leg and so Bowden's original verdict of out was overturned. The ball still pitched in line, it was still hitting the stumps, but the umpire gets overruled? I don't think thats right.

Posted by Ravendark on (November 26, 2012, 12:24 GMT)

@Marcio: The reality is that for all the Aussie's dominance, the scoreline is still 0-0. World class teams will turn draws into wins and losses into draws. SA did just that. The draw adds an interesting dimension to cricket and unless you can land the killer blow, the 20th wicket, no win for you, no matter how much you "dominate".

Posted by Tumbarumbar on (November 26, 2012, 12:02 GMT)

Gee I remember when Oz batsmen would debut and make a bucket full of runs in tough conditions. Extraordinary effort by the Faf man. My long term, long winded gripe - and this doesn't apply to the Faffenmiester as he only did it once and almost paid the price - but in my opinion if a batsmen does not offer a shot to a ball going on to hit the stumps then only a fluff of leather need be on the pitch map for it to be deemed to be pitching in the zone. I wonder how much scoring will be reduced if a leg stump attack became an option again?

Posted by Marcio on (November 26, 2012, 11:37 GMT)

How quickly people forget. Sorry, but SA were terrible for the first 80% of this game, tactically clueless, made no attempt at any stage to push for a winning position, and at no stage looked competitive until Australia's main strike bowler went down. Just look at the comparative runrates between the teams. The reality is that Australia have dominated the series, and SA have been scrapping to avoid defeat. Saying a draw is a fitting result, as one poster did, is total nonsense. SA were hammered senseless in this game for almost its entirety. That's something that smug posters seem to have quickly forgotten.

Posted by Chris_Howard on (November 26, 2012, 11:30 GMT)

@Indyman. You should have followed this Test. Then you'd know that on the day of the Test, RSA lost their No 1 bowled of recent times, then not too far into the day lost another of their top 4 bowlers (who'd already taken 2 wickets in 3 overs) for the rest of the Test, then later lost probably their best bowler of all time for a large part of the first day and restricted him for the remainder. So with all that and their best batsmen restricted, we still couldn't beat them. To draw that Test with all that went against the RSA (and their bowling in particular) is a remarkable effort that certainly justifies their #1 ranking. Also then remember the First Test they lost a key player after the first day too. Remember when we lost just McGrath before a Test in England 2005 and how much it affected us. RSA have my total respect for saving a Test match with only 9 fit men and 4 down at the start of the last day, that any other team would have lost.

Posted by Amit_Melbourne on (November 26, 2012, 11:25 GMT)

@dhruvans - Totally agree with you that our beautiful sport was the clear winner here and I'm sure this is what the author was conveying, well at least that's what came to my mind when I read the statement. What a ripper, despite the draw!

Posted by satish619chandar on (November 26, 2012, 11:14 GMT)

@HatsforBats : Nothing strange. For marginal decisions, stick with the original decision. Unless you got enough proof to overturn, the original decision stays. simple as that.

Posted by Indyman on (November 26, 2012, 10:58 GMT)

AH, GsterinPe, SA came to Australia as the world's No1 Team and were favored to beat an Australian team that is in rebuilding mode. I dont know anyone who thought Aust would win 3-0 so the idea that Australia is choking is plain nuts. Both teams have class players missing and both had injuries in the game and yet Australia has played the better of the cricket in the series so far. Yes, it was an unbelievable draw with shows Sa's class and ability (PVV1) but on paper they are easily a BETTER team and yet they are not showing it. Why?

Posted by Shaggy076 on (November 26, 2012, 10:41 GMT)

Not convinced on DRS when it comes to the bounce, still dont believe the Lyon one was going over the top. I want the DRS to take out the howlers but to me that first one from DuPlessis to Clarke was not a howler and should not have been overturned. I dont want to take away from the magnificent perform of DuPlessis but I htink the DRS needs a bit of work.

Posted by GsterinPE on (November 26, 2012, 10:22 GMT)

@Indyman - In following the trend of previous Australian teams I would have thought that Australia would have planned to beat South Africa 3 - 0 taking home ground advantage into account. So to have draw two of the three matches must constitute a minor failure (ie CHOKE!). To be world number one you have to win your tests at home.

Posted by Indyman on (November 26, 2012, 10:19 GMT)

Dhruvans - Agree with you, cricket was definitely the winner and hope that was Firdose was trying to convey.

David Kuhlwilm - If you have 672 first class wickets, you are experienced!!!

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 10:13 GMT)

it is really amezing day for test cricket ,,SA PROOF that they deserve for no.1

Posted by HatsforBats on (November 26, 2012, 10:07 GMT)

That is a strange DRS ruling. The umpire gets the benefit of the doubt when the ball is tracked and deemed to be hitting or missing the wickets; why is it different when the umpire decides the ball has pitched in line? The pitch map is surely more reliable than ball tracking, do the century old laws state that the majority of the ball should pitch in line? Have to feel sorry for Bowden in that instance.

Posted by PDV1 on (November 26, 2012, 9:58 GMT)

Indyman, it says a lot about South Africa's class and ability that, having lost Duminy, Philander and Kallis (bowling) they still can't be beat. Australia had just about two days to get the win and still came up short. You can be as aggressive as you want but you have to play the crucial sessions well - which Australia didn't. Hell, Kallis still scored runs against your attack on one leg! Have the grace like Michael Clarke to admit that today was an incredible effort by Faf and the SA team.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 9:52 GMT)

Indyman- I like that after 11 tests Tahir was experienced, yet after 15 Lyon is merely 'young'

Posted by dhruvans on (November 26, 2012, 9:49 GMT)

@Indyman : There was ONE clear winner today. I dont think the author is referring to either team, because I am sure he realises it was a drawn game, but the winner in this instance was Test Cricket.

Not sure if you were watching or listening to the commentary, but I was glued to this match. It was a classic, one team attacking and the other defending. In the end both the warriors Siddle and du Plessis, putting their weapons down, thoroughly exhausted and drained.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 9:42 GMT)

Irony of events. Ashwell gets injured in 2008 and JP takes his place and becomes the hero after a match winning knock. 2012 Faf takes injured JPs place and becomes the hero.

Posted by Indyman on (November 26, 2012, 9:22 GMT)

"One Winner", who are you trying to kid, Firdose? It was a draw and South Africa should be having a serious look at themselves as they are playing nowhere near their No 1 Ranking and in fact are being outplayed by an Australia team that on talent is nowhere near SA but are trying to play bold and positive cricket. The fact that it took a guy on debut to produce something extra-ordinary should trouble the Saffer's immensely. They came to Australia with cricket immortality in their grasp after the English Tour but clearly have been the weakest of the 2 teams so far. Kallis's injury was significant but it still left SA with 3 frontline fast bowlers (including the world's no 1 bowler) and a experienced leggie whilst the loss of Pattinson left Siddle, Hilfy and a young Lyon to toil manfully and Australia almost found a way. No 1 Team, my hat, you get respect when you win on the road, not saving Test matches you should be winning!!

Posted by goutamaniad on (November 26, 2012, 9:10 GMT)

"Two tired men, one winner"... Such blessed authorship, Firdose M, that I must beg u to keep at it. Sure to incense some of the Aussie fan populace... rile them enough into deriding ur art.

Posted by Patchmaster on (November 26, 2012, 9:01 GMT)

If Australis just had a genuine fast bowler (like Finn or Brett Lee etc) they would have knocked over the tail. They have four medium pacers unfortunately.

Posted by Soso_killer on (November 26, 2012, 8:41 GMT)

Draw is definately a fair result here.

A good game of test cricket should not be influenced by a toss.

Well done Faf, flat pitch or not

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 8:37 GMT)

the winner was test cricket what a day for the game both in Australia and India spectators were offered everything that is good in cricket who needs T20

Posted by satish619chandar on (November 26, 2012, 8:24 GMT)

Probably one of the greatest game to be drawn by a batting team. What a day it was. Love ya Faf and co. The list goes from ABD, Kallis, Steyn and even Rory who faced enough balls to leave the likes of Morkel to face lesser balls. Awesome effort Saffa's. Coming to the DRS, Yes the DRS is the one which made it possible by reversing some decisions to allwo the game to move in right direction. But, what is the legitimacy of the hot spot technology? We have seen enough of it. Time for ICC to make a global DRS with adequate cameras and replays and get rid of the expensive ball trackers or not working Hotspot and have a good system which will eliminate howlers and leave the players to review the decisions.

Posted by Marcio on (November 26, 2012, 8:21 GMT)

How on earth was the second review "better" thn the first? The first review showed the ball pitching partly in line, but with just a fraction more of the ball outside! There was literally 2mm in it! The batsman survived by the skin of his teeth. Any captain would have, and should have reviewed it.

Posted by edgie on (November 26, 2012, 8:14 GMT)

one winner yes, cricket won... a test, lasting all five days, yet was in the balance until the final ball was delivered, seriously, no better way to advertise the beauty that is test cricket.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 8:09 GMT)

This is what Test cricket is all about. Two teams fighting to the very last ball to secure- a draw! The fact that most of the world cannot fathom the logic of this or appreciate the games unique intricacies makes it even more appealling. A particular well done to Faf du Plessis and Peter Siddle who displayed immense guts and character in searing heat and under great pressure. A pleasure to watch.

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