Johannesburg: Cricket South Africa lauded the national squad on what it called "a magnificent rearguard action and, in particular, Faf du Plessis for his phenomenal performance on debut" to earn a draw in the second Test against Australia in Adelaide.
Du Plessis became the first South African to score a century and a half-century on his debut. His aggregate of 188 was the second best for the Proteas after Jacques Rudolph who made 222 from one innings against Bangladesh in 2003.
"Faf played with great skill, determination and pride, and the hallmark was the calmness he displayed, particularly in guiding the tail-enders through an extremely difficult last hour," commented CSA Acting CEO Jacques Faul.
"These are all the characteristics that have made our Test side such a world-class unit over the past few years and demonstrated just how hard they are to beat.
"Faf`s performance in this match was world-class by any standards but to do it on debut in an away Test against Australia was absolutely phenomenal. There is a great skill involved in playing match-winning innings but playing match-saving innings can often be even more difficult," he added.
Du Plessis` innings lasted 16 minutes short of eight hours and enabled the Proteas to bat out the last day. The match also produced yet another statistical landmark for Jacques Kallis who has now scored 50 or more runs in a Test innings on 100 occasions.
"Faf was by no means a one-man band in saving this match and we congratulate everybody for the way they knuckled down to complete a job well done.
"This has been an engrossing series of Test cricket to date which underlines the greatness of the five-day format, and all South Africans will be looking forward to another keen encounter at Perth from Friday."