Du Plessis delighted to end century drought

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Batsman Faf du Plessis welcomed the arrival of a maiden ODI century, as South Africa trumped Australia by seven wickets in Wednesday's key tri-series fixture at the Harare Sports Club.

Batsman Faf du Plessis welcomed the arrival of a maiden ODI century, as South Africa trumped Australia by seven wickets in Wednesday's key tri-series fixture at the Harare Sports Club.

Du Plessis spent the bulk of a solid limited-overs career at six in the order prior to all-rounder Jacques Kallis' retirement earlier this year. A promotion to third position, however, has afforded him the chance to convert a 10th half-century into three figures.

Wednesday's vigil spanned a mere 98 deliveries and featured 11 fours and a solitary six, ending on 106 when midwicket fielder Steven Smith held a good catch off the bowling of seamer Mitchell Starc.

"It is a great feeling, it has been a long time coming. I want to make this number three position my own. I have played most of my ODI cricket at six, so I guess you don't get as many opportunities to score centuries there, but now with my new role it's very important for me to make sure I get those tons," said du Plessis.

"The celebration might have been short but there was a lot of emotion going through it. I felt there was a lot to do still. But I'm very happy – to get your first Test ton and your first ODI ton against Australia is a great achievement for me."

Captain AB de Villiers, who was named Man of the Match on the back of a swashbuckling century, lauded the right-handed du Plessis' cool, calm and collection throughout.

"He's definitely our rock – he has been for the last while and he's playing unbelievable cricket at the moment. He's just proved a lot of people wrong, although I know that's not why he plays the game," added de Villiers.

"He's been under a lot of pressure from a lot of people in the ODI format, so for him to score that ton today, we've always had a lot of belief in him as a player."

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