South Africa pulled off a miraculous draw against Australia in Adelaide on Monday, with Faf du Plessis batting for four sessions to end the game unbeaten on 110. It was his debut Test, and he'd scored 78 in the first innings too, to become only the 15th person to make a ton and a fifty on debut.
Du Plessis faced a massive 376 deliveries over days four and five, and was the epitome of cool and calm, drawing much praise not just from his own team mates but from pundits and former players of all nations. South Africa had been heading for certain defeat if not for his efforts.
JP Duminy, whose injury allowed Du Plessis his debut, tweeted: "Well done boys.. Wat a day, #nosleep awesome by @faf1307 @ABdeVilliers17 @mornemorkel65 @RoryK_9 @jacqueskallis75 @DaleSteyn62."
Proteas fast bowler Dale Steyn, who batted with Du Plessis in the evening: "These are the moments we live and play for! Amazing knock by @faf1307 true guts and SA spirit!"
SA Paceman Vernon Philander: "Special display of test cricket by the lads. Well played @faf1307 special innings champ. Well played to Aus as well. #allto play4"
Former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris: "@faf1307 look at you Bud! now that's what you call a proper test debut!"
Jacques Kallis, who made 46 while batting with a pulled hamstring: "That was a great fight to get a draw. @faf1307 very special 100 that. True SA fighting spirit. But one also has so say well played to Aus"
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan: "Surely @faf1307 1st Test for SA has to be classed as the best debutant game of all time???"
England spinner Graeme Swann: "Congratulations to @faf1307 for amazing test debut. Also for having the tightest batting trousers on the planet #sprayonpants"
England fast bowler James Anderson responds to Swann: "@Swannyg66 Congratulations to @faf1307 for an amazing debut. Also for having the tightest trousers on the planet" tight like a tiger!"
Anderson to Faf: "@faf1307 well done mate! Great effort. Have a glass of red or two tonight!"
Former Australia spinner Shane Warne: "Sounded like a great finish in Adelaide! Who said a draw can't be exciting & test cricket is dead.. Well done SAF for hanging on, respect!"
England women's captain Charlotte Edwards: "What a days cricket in Adelaide. Not a bad debut for Faf Du Plessis!! #greatescape"
Retired Proteas wicketkeeper Mark Boucher: "Its the fight in the dog... @faf1307 !Awesome boys!"
Proteas all-rounder Albie Morkel: "Great effort @faf1307 !! Groot (big) goons!"
Titans (Du Plessis' domestic team) coach Matthew Maynard: "Unbelievable save by the Proteas. Great debut by @faf1307. #oneofthebestinningsever. #csa #ausvsa."
Former SA opener Ashwell Prince: "@faf1307 outstanding outstanding innings. Take a bow. Great South African fight!!! Gripping stuff"
Former Proteas spinner Pat Symcox: "Take a bow @faf1307!Something for all to of South Africa to be proud of!"
Former South Africa captain Shaun Pollock: "Great character shown by the Proteas and what can one say about the debutant @faf1307 , brilliant!!!!"
SA assistant coach Russell Domingo: "@faf1307 great performance. Congrats. What the faf just happened! Great performance by all batters today. Proud south african as always."
South African Olympic swimmer Ryk Neethling: "Victory! Well done for saving the test against the odds. True grit. Faf, jou doring!"
Former Australia bowler Nathan Bracken: "Great finish to the test. Well played @faf1307 amazing inning. Bring on the 3rd test @CricketAus vs @OfficialCSA"