Faf du Plessis batted all day on Monday to help South Africa salvage a draw in the second test against Australia on Monday by reaching 248-8 at stumps on the last day at the Adelaide Oval.


Australia- 550 (Michael Clarke 230, David Warner 119, Mike Hussey 103; Morne Morkel 5—146, Jacques Kallis 2—19) and 267—8 dec. (Mike Hussey 54, David Warner 41, Michael Clarke 38, James Pattinson 29 not out; Morne Morkel 3—50, Rory Kleinveldt 3—65, Dale Steyn 2—50).

South Africa- 388 (Graeme Smith 122, Faf du Plessis 78, Jacques Kallis 58; Ben Hilfenhaus 3—49, Nathan Lyon 2—91, Peter Siddle 2—130) and 248—8 (Faf du Plessis 110 not out, Jacques Kallis 46, AB de Villiers 33; Peter Siddle 4—54, Nathan Lyon 3—49).

Lunch report

Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers defied Australia’s bowlers for the entire morning session Monday, battling to salvage a draw for South Africa with some belligerent, old-fashioned test batting.

Du Plessis (49) and de Villiers (30) resumed the last morning at 77-4 and combined to add an unbeaten 49 runs in 35 overs of stonewalling as South Africa went to lunch at 126-4.

Du Plessis was twice given out lbw to Michael Clarke, but survived both times after referring the decisions to the third umpire. One was close, the ball pitching a fraction outside leg stump when he didn’t offer a shot on 33; the other was a poor call from umpire Billy Bowden that didn’t even hit him on the pad.

The South Africans need to avoid a series loss to retain the No. 1 ranking and are pushing for a second consecutive draw, while Australia needs to win to have any chance of reclaiming top spot.

Australia needs six wickets to win the second test, while South Africa needs to bat through the last two sessions for a draw.

Set a victory target of 430, the South Africans gave up on that after slumping to 45—4 before stumps on the penultimate day with Graeme Smith (0) and Hashim Amla (17) the key wickets to fall early in what needed to be a record chase.

With up to six fielders and wicketkeeper Matt Wade crowding the bat for much of the session, the South African pair was content to block and prod almost all the time, with rare strokemaking leading to a trickle of boundaries.

Jacques Kallis is the only recognized batsman left, and he is carrying a hamstring injury that is likely to rule him out of the third test next week in Perth.

Du Plessis, given his test debut here after injured J.P. Duminey was ruled out of the series last week in Brisbane, made a well—compiled 78 batting with the injured Kallis and the tail to build up South Africa’s first innings to 388 in reply to 550.


South Africa dreams of another great escape December 22, 2013

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