His 93-run eighth wicket stand with the injured Jacques Kallis got the Proteas past the follow on, pushing the team to 388.
And the team now have an outside chance of winning the Test after hitting back late on the third day, with Australia 111 for five, 273 runs ahead with two days left for a result. Du Plessis was far from serene as he attempted to make his way through the Adelaide crowd and on to the ground with his team at 233 for four.
“I was nervous before I went out,” he said. “I had an absolute shocker going down the stairs. My boot clipped one of the stairs and my whole foot came out. I had to kneel in front of the whole crowd there, while they were abusing me from both sides. “My shoelaces were tied and my pad was in the way, so I couldn't get my foot back in. So I was thinking, ‘I'm going to get timed out here.’” Du Plessis said the home crowd revelled in his discomfort.