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Faf du Plessis century and declaration catches Australia off the guard

Faf du Plessis celebrating his century in the third Test in Adelaide
Faf du Plessis celebrating his century in the third Test in Adelaide
©REUTERS / Action Images

South Africa 259-9 dec (du Plessis 118no) v
Australia 14-0 (Renshaw 8no)
Third Test, Adelaide, day one

Faf du Plessis scored a fabulous unbeaten century as South Africa recovered from 161 for seven to 259 for nine before they declared their innings to have a crack at Australia on day one of the third Test in Adelaide.

The Australian openers Usman Khawaja (3 not out) and Matt Renshaw (8 not out) managed to see through the 12 overs of play scoring 14 runs without losing a wicket.

South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first in their first-ever day-night Test. They replaced Keshav Maharaj with Tabraiz Shamsi while Australia made five changes to their side.

Renshaw, Peter Handscomb and Nic Maddinson made their debut while Jackson Bird and Matthew Wade made a return to the Australian line-up.

In the third over of the day, Stephen Cook (40) edged a delivery to the slips but Mitchell Starc (2-78) had overstepped to give him a reprieve.

However, Starc bounced back in the seventh over when he had Dean Eglar (5) caught at third slip. Josh Hazlewood (4-68) on the other struck two times in quick succession to remove Hashim Amla (5) and JP Duminy (5). South Africa were reeling at 44 for three at that stage.

Faf du Plessis (118 not out) and Cook ensured there were no further hiccups as South Africa went into lunch at 89 for three.

Fifth over into the second session, Cook nicked one to second slip to give Starc his second victim ending his 51-run stand with du Plessis.

Jackson Bird (2-57) too joined the act of destruction as he surprised Temba Bavuma (8) with a back of the length delivery and he became the fifth batsman to be caught behind in the innings.

With wickets falling at the other end, du Plessis completed a quite half-century needing 92 deliveries for it.

Quinton de Kock (24) looked aggressive but was caught behind off Hazlewood, who also had Vernon Philander (4). By the dinner break, South Africa were placed at 165 for seven.

Du Plessis shared a vital 54-run stand with Kyle Abbott (17) to take South Africa past the 200-run mark.

Moments after Bird trapped Abbott LBW, du Plessis completed a century and decided to declare the innings at 259 for nine to have a bowl at Australian openers.

Khawaja (3 not out) and Henshaw (8 not out) ensured they saw through the 12 over remaining in the day without losing a wicket. At stumps, Australia were trailing South Africa by 245 runs with all 10 wickets in hand.

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