You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Sweet ton for Proteas captain

AAP logoAAP 23/11/2016 Steve Larkin

Thick-skinned South African captain Faf du Plessis has scored the sweetest century of his Test career.

Du Plessis' unbeaten 118 against Australia on Thursday's opening day of the third Test came against a hostile backdrop.

Pre-game, du Plessis wasn't sure how the Adelaide Oval crowd would react to him, following his ball-tampering conviction.

He found out instantly: they jeered and booed as he strode to out to bat.

When du Plessis reached his half-century, more boos were mixed with some polite, subdued applause.

And even when he reached his sixth Test century, the boos came again.

But this time, the applause was far greater. Some Adelaide fans stood and clapped du Plessis for an innings that, without sugar-coating, was of style and substance.

It was a character-laden response to his controversial week - du Plessis maintains he's innocent of ball tampering, despite being found guilty by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The ICC fined du Plessis his entire match fee from the second Test and issued him three demerit points, but he avoided being banned for the Adelaide Test.

Asked at his pre-game media conference on Wednesday how the crowd would react, du Plessis replied: "I'm not sure.

"I'm hoping cricketing sense will prevail. If you're a cricketer, you'll understand it's not that big of a deal."

The Adelaide Oval crowd obviously thought differently when du Plessis went to the crease.

"Have a listen to this, ICC. Should he be batting? The Adelaide crowd says 'no'," ex-Australian wicketkeeper Ian Healy said while commentating for the Nine Network.

Earlier, Healy's 'keeping successor Brad Haddin was more forthright.

"He (du Plessis) is a smart arse. He's a winning smart arse and you can be when you're winning," Haddin told Triple M radio in Brisbane.

"But I don't think the South Africans have handled it really well, to be honest ... whether it's right or wrong, you have got to respect the ICC."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon