It is South Africa’s first ever experience with the pink ball. Skipper Faf du Plessis again called it right and batted. Once again South Africa lost early wickets like they did in Perth. Josh Hazlewood was on fire and got the big fish Amla again cheaply making it 4 out of 4, And then came back to get rid of JP Duminy.
After being put into trouble at 45/3, Skipper Faf, fresh from Lollygate controversy stepped up to the task. He and Stephen Cook shared a 51-run stand. Cook’s shaky, dodgy short stay at the crease came to an end in 33rd over when he edged one to Smith in the slip cordon. Even though he got a start he never really looked in touched.
Then Bavuma came and went without troubling the scorers too much. Quinton de Kock tried to take on the bowlers and counter attacked but his innings was cut short by a beauty by Hazlewood. Well bowled Josh!
South Africa went to dinner break with 7 wickets down, Faf fighting at one end and wickets tumbling at the other. He had to mix caution with aggression to ensure that South Africa got past 250 to keep themselves in the game. He reached his 6th test hundred, 2nd at Adelaide Oval.
Eyebrows were raised when Faf du Plessis started walking towards dressing room after hitting Starc for 4 on the last ball of 76th over. A lot must be going through Faf’s mind. With Australia playing 3 debutants in top 6 , so maybe he wanted to have a crack at them. Also, David Warner was not allowed to open because of his time spent off the field. David Warner was off the field receiving treatment on his shoulder and was therefore declared ineligible to open.
A couple of early wickets would have meant South Africa putting Australia under immense pressure. His gamble didn’t pay off because South African bowlers failed to strike. The Ball was having a good swing in the evening under the lights so, he thought that was a right time to take few wickets from the Top order of Australia but when Australia came to bat Faf’s plan looked dull as they went wicketless at the end of the day.
Was that a correct call from Faf du Plessis ?