Australia v South Africa, 3rd Test, Adelaide, 1st day November 24, 2016

Lowest declaration totals

Stats highlights from the third Test between Australia and South Africa in Adelaide where Faf du Plessis declared on the score of 259

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2 Centuries by South African captains in Tests in Australia before Faf du Plessis' 118 not out. Graeme Smith had scored both of them - at the same venue in 2012-13 and at the WACA in 2008-09. Overall, du Plessis' hundred was only the seventh by a South Africa captain in Tests against Australia.

97.40 Du Plessis' batting average in Tests in Australia. He has made two hundreds and two fifties in just eight innings. At the Adelaide Oval, du Plessis has made 306 runs - scores of 78, 110* and 118* - in three innings. Overall, he has 701 runs at 63.72 in Tests against Australia. Only two other South Africa batsmen with at least 500 runs against Australia - Barry Richards and Graeme Pollock - average higher than du Plessis against them.

108.33 Du Plessis' strike rate against Mitchell Starc in his innings. He faced 48 balls from Starc and made 52 runs, 36 of which came off boundaries. The other South Africa batsmen scored only 24 runs off 91 deliveries from Starc at a strike rate of 26.37.

Faf du Plessis v Australia bowlers, 1st inns, Adelaide Test
Bowler Runs Balls 4s SR shots in control (%age)
 Mitchell Starc  52  48  9  108.33  91.67
 Josh Hazlewood  28  44  4  63.63  95.45
 Jackson Bird  21  32  2  65.62  90.62
 Nathan Lyon  17  40  2  42.50  92.50

1981 The last time Australia had five debutants in a Test series. They had handed out Test caps to Terry Alderman, Trevor Chappell, Martin Kent, Dirk Wellham and Mike Whitney in the Ashes series in England that year. While Callum Ferguson and Joe Mennie made their debuts in Hobart, this Test has three Australia debutants - Peter Handscomb, Nic Maddinson and Matt Renshaw.

4 Number of times Josh Hazlewood has dismissed Hashim Amla in four innings in this series. This equals the most any bowler has dismissed Amla in a series. S Sreesanth had dismissed Amla four times in 69 deliveries during India's tour of South Africa in 2006-07. Stuart Broad had got Amla four times from 207 balls in the Test series in South Africa in 2015-16. Hazlewood has bowled just 33 deliveries to Amla in this series so far.

2/102 Score in the final session on the first day when artificial lights took over completely. The final session on the first day of the first floodlit Test at the Adelaide Oval had seen five wickets fall for 83 runs. However, the happenings in the first two sessions of the day were almost identical to the first Test: seven wickets fell for 171 runs in this Test. The first two sessions of the match between the hosts and New Zealand had seen seven wickets fall for 173 runs.


Faf du Plessis declared South Africa's innings at the Adelaide Oval with only 259 runs on the board - their second-lowest total on which they have declared in the first innings of a Test. The table below lists the 15 instances when teams have declared the first innings of a Test for a total of under 300 runs.

Teams declaring first inns of a Test at <300
Team Opposition Score Result Venue Match Date
 South Africa  Australia  259/9d  -  Adelaide  24-Nov-16
 Australia  India  237/9d  lost  Hyderabad (Deccan)  02-Mar-13
 New Zealand  Bangladesh  262/6d  draw  Dhaka  25-Oct-08
 South Africa  England  248/8d  lost  Centurion  14-Jan-00
 New Zealand  Zimbabwe  230/8d  draw  Hamilton  13-Jan-96
 India  New Zealand  296/8d  draw  Cuttack  08-Nov-95
 Australia  India  207/3d  draw  Delhi  26-Sep-86
 New Zealand  Australia  266/7d  draw  Wellington  26-Feb-82
 Pakistan  England  130/9d  draw  Lord's  08-Aug-74
 England  Pakistan  241/2d  draw  Lord's  17-Jun-71
 England  Australia  216/8d  draw  Nottingham  04-Jun-64
 England  Australia  217/8d  draw  Nottingham  07-Jun-56
 West Indies  England  297/8d  won  Georgetown  03-Mar-48
 England  West Indies  164/7d  draw  Manchester  22-Jul-39
 Australia  England  200/9d  won  Melbourne  01-Jan-37

The balls faced by South Africa - 456 - were sixth on the list of fewest deliveries of a first innings of a Test before declaration.

Least balls played before declaration (1st inns of Tests)
Team Opposition Overs Score Result Venue Start Date
 Pakistan  England  44.5  130/9d  draw  Lord's  08-Aug-74
 South Africa  England  72  248/8d  lost  Centurion  14-Jan-00
 England  West Indies  55.2x8  164/7d  draw  Manchester  22-Jul-39
 New Zealand  Bangladesh  75  262/6d  draw  Dhaka  25-Oct-08
 Australia  India  75.4  207/3d  draw  Delhi  26-Sep-86
 South Africa  Australia  76  259/9d  -  Adelaide  24-Nov-16

In fact, this is the lowest team total at which a captain unbeaten at the crease has declared the first innings of a Test. The only other instance when an unbeaten captain chose to declare the first innings of a Test with a total of under 300 runs was when Geoff Howarth called New Zealand's innings off while batting on 58* in the Wellington Test against Australia in 1982. That decision was, perhaps, forced by weather conditions with the first day of the Test already lost to rain.

Lowest team scores on which unbeaten captains have declared (1st inns of Tests)
Captain Captain's Score team opposition Team total Match Date
 Faf du Plessis  118*  SA  AUS  259/9  24-Nov-16
 Geoff Howarth  58*  NZ  AUS  266/7  26-Feb-82
 Nasser Hussain  146*  ENG  SA  366/9  26-Dec-99
 Hanif Mohammad  203*  PAK   NZ  385/7  02-Apr-65
 Michael Vaughan  82*  ENG  SA  411/8  13-Jan-05

Shiva Jayaraman is a senior stats analyst at ESPNcricinfo.com. @shiva_cricinfo

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