SA hang on for an epic draw

Faf du Plessis carried his bat for more than seven hours, hitting an inspirational century on debut to carry South Africa to a morale-boosting draw in the second Test against Australia. The all-rounder was grit personified on a tense fifth day, compiling an unbeaten 110 to steer the Proteas to safety.

Australia paceman Peter Siddle and spinner Nathan Lyon captured late wickets to leave South Africa wobbling at 240-8 and the home side in sight of victory. However, Du Plessis and Morne Morkel survived the nerve-shredding final overs to leave the series tied at 0-0 after the drawn first Test in Brisbane.

South Africa were 248 for 8 at the close, 182 runs behind the 430-run target Australia captain Michael Clarke set for victory, with Morkel unbeaten on eight. The third and final Test starts in Perth on Friday, a quick turnaround for two teams carrying injuries and battling fatigue after five days in Adelaide's baking heat.

Du Plessis anchored two defiant partnerships, the first an 89-run stand with schoolmate AB de Villiers that soaked up 68 overs until after lunch.

The second was a 99-run dig with the injured Kallis, who battled through the pain of his hamstring strain for a second straight innings.

"AB and Jacques really helped me a lot. I had goose bumps — it's the record for the longest goosebumps ever," du Plessis said. An enthralling battle between Du Plessis and Siddle saw both players slump to the ground in exhaustion before picking themselves up.

Siddle finished with 4/65 after nearly singlehandedly willing Australia to victory with two wickets after tea.

Lyon finished with 3-41 after bowling a heavy load of 50 overs as the Australian attack struggled to share workload with paceman James Pattinson ruled out with a rib injury. "Losing James hurt us," said Australia captain Michael Clarke. "I don't want to take anything away from South Africa because they played really well."

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