Faf du Plessis is one of the greatest batsmen of South African cricket in the modern era. The batting dynamite has played at the top level for the Proteas for a decade now and has been a vital cog of the South African batting lineup in every format of the game.
The right-hander is the 9th highest run-getter for South Africa in ODI cricket and has scored 5507 runs in 143 matches. In Test cricket, Du Plessis has amassed 4163 runs and has scored them at an average of above 40. In T20I cricket too, du Plessis has scored 1528 runs. With the Protean colossus turning 37 today, let us take a look at the top 5 knocks from du Plessis in his career.
5) 119 (56) vs West Indies – T20Is
Faf Du Plessis’ greatest T20I innings came on 11th January 2015. Batting at No.3, the right-handed batsman scored 119 at a rollicking strike rate of 212.50. Du Plessis’ murderous innings helped the South African side score 231/7 in their allotted 20 overs.
However, led by a rampaging 90 off 41 deliveries from Chris Gayle, the West Indies chased down the target with 4 wickets to spare.
4) 134 vs India – Tests
South Africa were set a near improbable target of 458 for victory against India in a Test match in December 2013, and they almost crossed the finish line thanks to a 309-ball 134 by Faf du Plessis. South Africa scored 244 in their first innings in reply to India’s total of 280.
India scored 421 in their second innings, and many thought that the Proteas would go down tamely. But then, du Plessis’ incredible 205-run stand with Ab de Villiers almost helped them pull off the impossible, as South Africa ended their second innings with their scorecard reading 450/7. And the match ended in a draw.
3) 185 (141) vs Sri Lanka – ODIs
Faf Du Plessis’ best ODI knock came on 7th February 2017, against the Sri Lankan side. The right-hander was in the mood for destruction, and du Plessis hammered the Sri Lankan bowlers to every part of the ground in Cape Town. In a 141-ball knock, du Plessis scored 185, to help South Africa pile up a total of 367/5 in 50 overs.
Even though Upul Tharanga scored 119 for Sri Lanka, they fell short of the target by 40 runs.
2) 199 vs Sri Lanka – Tests
Faf du Plessis’ highest score in Test cricket came in December 2020 against Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka batted first and posted a total of 396 runs on the board. And, the Proteas replied with a massive total of 621. And, the chief architect of the South African batting lineup was du Plessis, who scored a classic 199 off 276 deliveries. He scored 24 glorious boundaries in his knock.
The Sri Lankan side produced a below-par performance in the second innings and were bowled out for a total of 180, and South Africa won the match by an innings and 45 runs.
1) 110 vs Australia – Tests
The greatest knock of Faf du Plessis’ incredible career came in the year 2012, against Australia, and this was a knock where he batted on and on, in the second innings. Australia scored 550 in their first innings, and South Africa replied with a total of 388. The kangaroos declared their second innings with a total of 267/8 and set South Africa an improbable target of 430 for victory.
And, that was when Du Plessis stood like a rock. He batted for 466 minutes, faced 376 deliveries, and scored a defiant 110. South Africa played out a staggering 148 overs and ended their second innings with their scorecard reading 248/8. Du Plessis’ blockathon knock helped the Proteas draw the Test match, and he won the Player of the Match award.