Du Plessis leads South Africa's great escape
Faf du Plessis' fourth-innings century on debut in Adelaide helped South Africa secure a draw with two wickets in hand. It was only the first time in 11 years that two successive Tests were drawn in Australia.
- South Africa played 148 overs in the fourth innings to avoid defeat. The number of balls they faced (888) is their second highest in the fourth innings while saving a Test and the highest since readmission. It is also the ninth highest in an effort to save a Test (fourth innings) and the third highest in Adelaide.
- South Africa began the final day four wickets down. The 762 balls faced by the last six wickets (five to ten) is the most for any team in the fourth innings.
- For the first time since 1921, two consecutive Tests between Australia and South Africa were drawn. Between 2000 and this series, the only draw between the teams was in Perth (2005), which is the venue for the third Test. The last time two successive matches were drawn in a series in Australia was when New Zealand toured in 2001
- This is the tenth time a team has drawn a Test in Australia after losing eight or more wickets in the fourth innings. Four of the ten matches have been in Adelaide. The last team to achieve such a draw in Adelaide was India in 1981.
- Faf du Plessis is the first South Africa batsman, and the seventh overall, to score a fourth-innings century on Test debut. He is the fourth batsman to score a debut Test century for South Africa. However, du Plessis faced the most deliveries for a debutant in the fourth innings. His strike rate of 29.25 is the second lowest for a South Africa batsman against Australia since South Africa's readmission in 1992.
- Du Plessis was also the first batsman to score a century and a fifty on Test debut for South Africa. Fifteen batsmen have achieved the feat.
- Du Plessis and Jacques Kallis were involved in a half-century stand in both innings. They are the first South African pair and the third overall to be involved in two stands in the nineties in a Test.
- Nathan Lyon bowled fifty overs in the fourth innings, the tenth time an Australian bowled so much in an innings since 1990. Shane Warne, who had bowled 50 or more overs five times, holds the record for most overs (since 1990) in an innings by an Australian - 70.
Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan is a sub-editor (stats) at ESPNcricinfo