Nervous nineties are one thing, nervous one-nineties are another. However, for Faf du Plessis it wasn’t nervousness, it was rush of blood, to get to the magical 200 number, his first-ever double-century in Test cricket. Alas! It wasn’t to be.
South Africa started the day being in a good position and ended the day being in an outstanding position. It felt like only one team showed up on Monday to play the game as the visitors struggling with injuries had a horrendously long day in the field and allowed South Africa to pile on runs.
Faf du Plessis and Temba Bavuma too off from where they left at the end of the second day. They just kept batting. Du Plessis reached his 10th Test century and just was there for the Saffers.
Bavuma, although got out after completing his fifty, but played a well-compiled knock of 71 runs. All-rounder Wiaan Mulder also played a decent hand of 36 as South Africa didn’t look in any mood of mercy on Monday.
Du Plessis kept finding partners who supported him and didn’t let Sri Lankan bowlers to get in the game at any point in time, who looked listless on the third day of the Centurion Test.
Spinning all-rounder Keshav Maharaj, however, came with a definite plan to take on the bowlers as he kept sending the SL fielders to the boundary to just pick up the ball.
Maharaj and Du Plessis stitched another 100-run partnership for the hosts in the innings as the latter reached 150 and looked on course for an easy maiden double ton.
On the way, Maharaj and Du Plessis completed a 133-run 7th wicket partnership which was the highest taking over from teh 132-run stand shared by the current coach Mark Boucher and Shaun Pollock 18 years ago.
Unfortunately for South Africa and Du Plessis, the stand couldn’t add any more runs and the batsman got out for 199. Trying to go for a glory shot to complete his first double-century, Du Plessis holed out to the mid-on fielder and missed his century by just one run, becoming only the 13th player in the history of Test cricket to do so.
However, South Africa got a firsts innings lead of 225 runs owing to Du Plessis’ knock and reduced Sri Lanka to 65-2 at the end of third day’s play.
Fans and cricketers felt bad for Faf du Plessis who batted so well to reach that far in the innings and couldn’t complete the milestone.
Here are some of the reactions:
— JP Duminy (@jpduminy21) December 28, 2020
Tough luck for Faf Du Plessis, he goes for a really well made 199 which took South Africa to a mammoth total. Brilliant innings, he’s please to eyes when he’s on song.
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) December 28, 2020
“199 more of a story than 200”
I’ve missed Ramiz Raja https://t.co/1dy1iMXfVJ
— Varun Shetty (@varunshetty) December 28, 2020
Oh no, Faf du Plessis is out for 199! Tried to belt a drive off Hasaranga but picked out a wide mid-on. Elgar knows how that feels & has his head in his arms in the changeroom. Best not to dwell on missed 200 too much; a fantastic innings, took SA from dodgy to total command.
— Ken Borland (@KenBorland) December 28, 2020
Awww Duplessis departs on 199 well played just missed his first double century by 1Run pic.twitter.com/srj80KT0Lr
— Muhmmad Umair857 (@umair857) December 28, 2020
Gotta feel for Faf du Plessis there. A double hundred was right there and he it straight to mid-on. 199 it is. Leaving Hashim Amla’s 201 v England in Cape Town, 2016 as the last time a South African has scored a double-ton. #SAvSL
— Firdose Moonda (@FirdoseM) December 28, 2020
Faf du Plessis becomes the 13th batsman to join the 199 club of Test cricket:
Mudassar Nazar Mohammad Azharuddin Matthew Elliot Sanath Jayasuriya Steve Waugh Andy Flower Younis Khan Ian Bell Kumar Sangakkara Steve Smith KL Rahul Dean Elgar FAF DU PLESSIS
— Yash Mittal (@im_yash2307) December 28, 2020
— Nibraz Ramzan (@nibraz88cricket) December 28, 2020