Australia v South Africa, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 5th day November 26, 2012

Du Plessis survives three reviews and an edge

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

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • David 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.

  • Sunny 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.

  • Andrew 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.

  • Eugene 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.

  • Clinton 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.

  • Warren 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.

  • Dummy4 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!

  • kieran 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.

  • S 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".

  • John 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?

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