Australia batsman Steve Smith slammed a masterful century against England during his team’s first ICC World Cup 2019 warm-up match at the Rose Bowl in Southampton on Saturday.
Opening batsman David Warner and middle-order batsman Steve Smith were both jeered by the fans when the duo came out to bat after England won the toss and elected to bowl first. There were scattered boos when opening batsman Warner walked out to bat but there were more boos as he walked off to be replaced by Smith at 82/2.
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However, Smith didn’t let that affect him and played a marvellous innings to bail his team out of trouble. His innings included eight boundaries and three massive sixes and his strike rate at the end of the innings read 113.7.
Smith innings helped Australia post 297/9 in the allotted 50 overs. Warner (55) was the second-highest run-scorer of the innings while Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh and Alex Carey also chipped in with some handy runs.
Warner and former Australia captain Smith only returned to international duty earlier this month after they both completed 12-month suspensions for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
The disgraced duo’s first match in England this tour was a hastily arranged, unofficial warm-up match against the West Indies on the nursery ground at Southampton on Wednesday.
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But that fixture was played in front of fewer than 30 spectators whereas there were several thousand in the main arena on Saturday.
Reigning world champions Australia are set to be in England for more than four months in a tour featuring both the World Cup and a five-Test Ashes series.
((With agency inputs))
May 25, 2019 19:20 IST
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