Sydney, Nov 26(ANI): Debutant Faf du Plessis scored a resolute century on the fifth day of the Adelaide Test to help South Africa earn a battling draw against Australia.
South Africa batted for 148 overs, four and a half sessions and nine hours, at 1.67 runs an over to finish 8-248 and deny Australia a win they thought was in the bag.
Peter Siddle (4-65) gave his side everything at the death, but wasn't able to get the two wickets required in the final over, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
It seemed only a matter of time on Monday until Australia wrapped up victory and edged one step closer to stealing the Proteas' No.1 ranking with a series win.
However du Plessis (110 not out), supported by AB de Villiers (33) and then Jacques Kallis (46), ensured Australia must win the third Test in Perth to usurp them at the summit of Test cricket.
South Africa entered the history books, surviving the fourth highest number of overs to save a Test.
When Lyon had Jacques Kallis caught at bat pad with about 70 minutes left in the day, the end was in sight.
Siddle got rid of Dale Steyn (nought) and Rory Kleinveldt (3) with 12 minutes left in the day to bring out No.10 Morne Morkel (8no), but Australia couldn't come up with the remaining two wickets.
Fearlessly led by 28-year-old du Plessis, South Africa showed enormous character to fight it out to the death after Australia set them a world record fourth-innings target of 430.
Du Plessis arrived at the crease in the 21st over with the scoreboard reading 4-45.
He went on to face 376 balls, defy DRS reviews and watch his more high-profile teammates fall around him to carry his bat in an extraordinary display of concentration, technique and nerve. (ANI)