To commemorate Faf du Plessis entering the top 10 of the Test ICC rankings, we revisit three career-defining performances from the Proteas skipper.
Faf debuted against Australia in 2012 and had a memorable outing in Adelaide, scoring 78 and 108 in his first two Test innings. His hundred in the Proteas’ second innings was crucial to squeezing out a draw. Australia batted first and scored 550 to which the Proteas replied with 388. Australia added 267 to their total before declaring and setting the Proteas a target of 430. After a top-order collapse that saw the Proteas reduced to 134-5, Du Plessis spent 466 minutes at the crease, faced 376 balls for his maiden century, 110 not out. The Proteas ended up drawing the match. After also drawing the first Test, South Africa went on to win the last one and clinch a series victory.
Faf sets his highest Test score
The Proteas dominated New Zealand in January 2013. After destroying the Black Caps by an innings and 27 runs in the first Test at Newlands, the Proteas played the second Test in Port Elizabeth with the aim of a whitewash. They did this successfully by claiming an innings and 193-run win. Du Plessis top-scored with 137 as the Proteas posted 525-8d. The Proteas bowled New Zealand out for 121 and 211 to clinch the victory. This still remains his highest Test score.
Faf breaks Australia’s streak in South Africa
The 2018 series against the Aussie was full of drama. Steve Smith almost got Kagiso Rabada banned, David Warner got into a tunnel scuffle after he was tormented by his wife’s unfortunate past, CSA officials were suspended and all this culminated into the sandpaper ball-tampering incident that shocked the cricket world. The Proteas lost the opening match and fought through the drama to complete a six-wicket win in PE, a 322-run win in Cape Town and finally a captain’s knock of 120 at the Wanderers to set up a historic 492-run win. This broke Australia’s seven-series unbeaten streak in South Africa.
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