Du Plessis delights in maiden Cape Town ton

By Sports Desk January 06, 2019

Faf du Plessis took immense satisfaction from his "grafty" hundred in the Cape Town Test as South Africa secured a series victory over Pakistan with a match to spare.

The Proteas began day four requiring only 41 runs in their second innings, a target they reached for the loss of one wicket, although Hashim Amla was forced to retire hurt after being struck on the arm by a Mohammad Amir delivery.

South Africa's win owed much to a first-innings total of 431 built around 103 from Du Plessis and Temba Bavuma's 75, both batsmen battling through several painful blows to make significant contributions on a challenging batting surface.

Du Plessis had made a pair in the first Test and was delighted to bounce back with a man-of-the-match display, particularly as he had never previously registered a Test hundred at Newlands.

In the post-match presentation, South Africa's skipper said: "Even experienced players like myself, after a game where you don't score runs, you still feel the pressure, you feel the expectation of people wanting you to go out there and do well.

"It's only one game and that's the crazy thing. I've felt like the last year is the best I've batted in a long time. But you go through a spell and all of a sudden there are a few doubts, a few negative thoughts.

"It was a true test of my character. That's when the best comes out of me. It's good to see I managed to get that right.

"I finally got a hundred at my favourite ground. It's an amazing place to play cricket, with the mountain [Table Mountain], the crowd, which is amazing. I was glad to get that monkey off my back. I've wanted it for a long time.

"It was one of those grafty hundreds. All of us in the dressing room, we prefer those knocks for the team. You take a few blows on the body and tough it out and score the runs."

South Africa have now won seven series in a row at home and Du Plessis added: "We're proud of that record. We want to make sure we keep that up.

"We've had some big teams come here in the last few years and we've beaten them. They have all come with very good bowling attacks and Pakistan are no different – they're a serious bowling team.

"You need to be on it with the bat and we know, if we get runs on the board, our bowlers will do the rest."

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