Australia surprised by du Plessis' declaration

Australia's fast bowler Josh Hazlewood admitted his team was surprised and annoyed at the timing of South Africa's declaration on Day One in Adelaide.


Faf du Plessis (left) scored an unbeaten 118.

Australia bowler Josh Hazlewood admitted the host was caught out by Faf du Plessis' declaration late on the >first day of the Adelaide day-night Test .

Du Plessis responded to ball-tampering charges to score a magnificent 118 not out to lead the Proteas to 259 for 9 before putting the host in to bat with a handful of overs left in the night. "I was so driven but [with] the position of the game it was time to declare," he explained. "There was a lot of talk about the pink ball at night so it was a great opportunity to try and at least make a positive move."

Du Plessis was also canny in declaring with David Warner having left the field for treatment on a shoulder injury - meaning the vice-captain could not open alongside debutant Matt Renshaw. The England-born left-hander and Usman Khawaja, however, scrapped their way to stumps on 14 for 0.

"I listened to the conversation he had with the umpires, one ear talking to the batter and one ear listening to him and then I heard he had six minutes left before he could bat again so I thought 'let's have a crack'," du Plessis said.


Hazlewood said of the situation brought on by Warner throwing his shoulder out: "He went off for some treatment towards the end and was off for too long. So they messed their timings up and he couldn't bat straight away. [Usman Khawaja] had to bat and adapted pretty well and we got through.

"The guys were a little bit annoyed, especially Smithy and probably Uzzy (Khawaja) who had to go out and bat, but it's just one of those things. It rarely happens, but it happened today and the way Uzzy adapted to the situation he did a great job for us today."

Hazlewood had nothing but praise for du Plessis spotting the opportunity to put pressure on the host, adding: "I think he might've had a rough idea. He's quite cagey like that, pulled the pin and declared and caught us out a little bit."

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