ONE of South Africa's shining lights from its Test performance in Adelaide, batting all-rounder Faf du Plessis, is set to extend his stay in Australia beyond next week's final Test in Perth to become Melbourne Renegades' final Big Bash League signing.
It is believed negotiations by the Renegades to secure the 28-year-old on a one-match deal for the December 7 Melbourne derby against the Stars are almost complete.
The Renegades have been searching for a top-three batsman for their first home game to replace the West Indies' Marlon Samuels, who will be unavailable for that match only due to international duty.
If the deal is completed, du Plessis would become the second Proteas Test squad member who will play a single match at the start of the BBL to cover for the absence of a contracted West Indian, with pace spearhead Dale Steyn to represent Brisbane Heat in its first match in place of fellow paceman Kemar Roach.
While the current Test in Adelaide is du Plessis' first - he made 78 in the first innings and is at the forefront of South Africa's final-day resistance effort - he has played 30 limited-overs internationals for the Proteas. The part-time leg-spinner has also carved out a key role in Chennai's star-studded IPL line-up, averaging 32.21 at a healthy scoring rate of 129.94 in his two seasons for the Super Kings.
By representing the Renegades at home to the Stars on December 7 at Etihad Stadium, the season-opening match for the Renegades, du Plessis would also be eligible to play for the Renegades at next year's Champions League Twenty20 tournament, should the Renegades qualify by reaching the BBL final.