Former Australian skipper Steve Smith showcased his batting exploits in match No.3 of the bilateral One Day International (ODI) series between New Zealand and hosts Australia at the Cazaly’s Stadium on Sunday. One of the finest batters across formats, Smith played a sensational knock against the Black Caps to help the hosts register a challenging total in the penultimate match of the ODI series.
Interestingly, Smith also earned plaudits for his incredible game-awareness during Australia’s innings. During the 38th over of the innings, Smith hammered a massive six off James Neesham knowing that the delivery will be declared a no-ball. After smashing the gigantic six off pacer Neesham, the former Australian urged the square leg umpire to count a number of fielders outside the circle.
Smith started signalling for a free-hit soon after launching the filthy slog over the fence for a six. A no-ball was called by the umpire due to the number of fielders being outside the circle. For the unversed, a maximum of four fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle between overs 11 and 40. Talking about the match, Smith ended his century drought as the star batter slammed his first ODI ton in nearly two years.
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I was hitting with the wind: Smith after ending century drought
“Had to take our time early, to give ourselves a chance and build a partnership. I was just batting simply early on, and didn’t think too much about it. And when I decided to take more of a chance, I was hitting with the wind. I think we have a strong total on the board,” Smith said during the innings break.
Smith played a crucial knock of 105 off 131 balls in Aaron Finch’s farewell game. The Australian captain received a standing ovation from the crowd as the star opener walked off for the final time in the 50-over format on Sunday. Riding on Smith’s century, Finch-led Australia managed to post a respectable total of 267-5 in 50 overs.
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