Aussies hold advantage despite Faf heroics
Views: 3 | | November 30, 2012 12:24 PM
Graeme Smith won the toss and opted to bat but may have regretted his decision after the Aussie pacemen reduced the Proteas to 132-7.
This was after a bright enough start for the tourists who had reached 38 without loss before the returning Shane Watson made the breakthrough to dismiss the Proteas captain for 16.
That heralded a collapse as Mitchell Starc (2-55), Mitchell Johnson (2-54) and John Hastings (1-51) ripped through the tourists' top order.
Du Plessis, who scored 78 and 110 not out on his debut in the second Test to win the man-of-the-match award, dug deep and found support down the order to restore a degree of respectability.
He put on 57 with Robin Peterson (31) and 64 with Vernon Philander (28), while last man Morne Morkel cracked 17 in a partnership of 19 before he was dismissed by Nathan Lyon (3-41) to leave Du Plessis stranded on 78.
A first-innings total of 225 was far from what was required but the Proteas showed this game is far from over after reducing the Aussies to 33-2 by the close, with Ed Cowan and Watson going cheaply.