Australian batter Steve Smith found his mojo back once cricket returned to its old-fashioned domain. The former skipper continued his fine run of form in ODI cricket with a well-compiled 94 in the second ODI against England on Saturday, November 19.
The New South Wales-born player came out to bat in the sixth over after David Warner perished midway through the powerplay. He began his innings with a positive tempo on his home ground and proceeded to take his own time with Marnus Labuschagne exploding from the other end.
Steve Smith registered his third ODI fifty in a row off 70 deliveries. Once wickets started to tumble around him, the batter took the initiative to be among the runs and was on course to record yet another hundred at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
The 33-year-old narrowly missed out on his 13th ODI hundred after getting dismissed by Adil Rashid in the 44th over. The spinner floated one up at 70 kmph and got the batter to come down the track and attack him. Smith could only get the slog off the toe end of the bat and the catch was easily pouched by Phil Salt at long-off.
Twitterati were unanimous in bowing down to Steve Smith's prowess in the longer formats of the game. Here are some of the reactions on the social media platform:
Australia set for a solid total on a slow track at the SCG on the back of Smith's heroics
Led by Josh Hazlewood in the absence of Pat Cummins, Australia are on course to make a strong case for themselves in the series. After electing to bat first. the hosts overcame an early hurdle. While Steve Smith held one end of the crease, Labuschagne (58) and Mitchell Marsh (50) chipped in with crucial runs from the other end.
Those partnerships steered Australia over the 250-run mark. Marcus Stoinis and Ashton Agar contributed in the final few overs and Australia finished on 280/8.
Australia currently holds a 1-0 lead in the series following their six-wicket win in the first ODI at the Adelaide Oval. It is to be noted that the ongoing set of matches are not a part of the ODI World Cup Super League.
Will the ace batter's marathon knock be the difference maker in the second ODI between Australia and England? Let us know what you think.