Steve Smith has bounced back into domestic cricket with a stunning 124-ball 127, making a mockery of the short North Sydney Oval boundaries in NSW’s 59-run win over Victoria in the Marsh Cup one-day opener.
Smith came to the wicket early after Matthew Gilkes was dismissed in the second over and had to bat patiently as the Blues fell to 4/73 off 20 overs.
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But after Ollie Davies came to the crease and slammed 57 off 41 balls on debut, Smith exploded as Australian fans have come to expect.
Smith scoring runs isn’t often news but post-match, he surprised Fox Sports’ Adam Peacock by admitting he hadn’t been in the nets until yesterday.
The man who shadow bats in the field and caused a scandal when he marked centre while in the field said he hadn’t been attached to his willow since the Test series against India ended in January.
“I actually had my first hit yesterday, I haven’t touched my bat believe it or not,” Smith said after the game.
“It’s been nice to spend some time away, chill for a bit. Once South Africa got called off it was about having a hit yesterday, getting myself in a decent frame of mind to come out and play.”
Smith hadn’t missed a beat.Source:Getty Images
But Smith’s Instagram also showed he caught up with Hollywood star Zac Efron, with the Aussie superstar posting: “Good fun in the nets smashing a few balls with these guys! Not sure they will be getting a call up anytime soon”.
A post shared by Steve Smith (@steve_smith49)
Smith was coming off a demanding summer where he scored twin 62-ball centuries in the ODIs against India, but could hardly buy a run in the first two Tests before bouncing back with 131 and 81 in Sydney, as well as a second innings 55 in the Gabba Test.
After the tour of South Africa was postponed because of COVID-19 fears, Smith has been taking it easy but quickly found his happy place against Victoria.
Steve Smith marks his first innings in almost a month with a century. Of course. #MarshCup
This Steve Smith character is pretty good at cricket. #MarshCup
100 to Steve Smith for NSW at North Sydney Oval. Did it very easy.
Brilliant knock by @stevesmith49 again. But the @VicStateCricket bowling in the last 10 overs has been ghastly. #MarshCup
The match also doubled as Pat Cummins’ captaincy debut for NSW and he hit 49 off 30 balls with the bat and took 3/38 off nine overs with the ball as the Blues bowled Victoria out for 259.
“I think the 50 overs went a bit quicker than a normal one-dayer because you are just always thinking,” Cummins said.
“I was looking up at the scoreboard, trying to work out the overs, making sure my maths were OK.
“It was a bit different. I had Moey (Moises Henriques) out there next to me, I leaned on him a fair bit.”
After Marcus Harris hit 47 and Matt Short scored 67, the Bushrangers still had hope as James Pattinson hit 54 off 36 balls on the tiny North Sydney Oval ground but his dismissal essentially sealed the result.
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