Tag Archives: Steve Smith

Smith powerless to prevent England victory

Steve Smith’s highest international T20 score of 90 off 53 balls was not enough to give Australia victory, as England secured a narrow win over the tourists, in front of a boisterous crowd at The SSE SWALEC.

The Australian captain led from the front, hitting seven 4s and four 6s, slaying England’s bowlers to every corner of the ground, as the visitors set about chasing England’s total of 182/5. Smith’s partnership with Maxwell, who hit a fine knock of 44, was worth 112 and looked to have put the tourists in a dominating position.

Maxwell eventually departed thanks to a stunning catch in the deep from Ben Stokes, before Smith chipped the ball straight to Sam Billings at long-on, to leave Australia in the lurch.

After a fine penultimate over by David Willey, Stokes then bowled yorker after yorker, as Australia crumbled. First Matthew Wade was run out, before Nathan Coulter-Nile was caught by Adil Rashid at short third man and then Pat Cummins was dismissed to give England the narrow victory.

Earlier, an exhilarating partnership of 139 off 75 balls between Moeen Ali and Eoin Morgan powered England to a total of 182/5 – recovering from 18/2.

Morgan blazed blistering 74, off just 39 balls to announce his return to the international fray in typical fashion. He smashed three 4s and seven 6s – including a couple that flew into the River Taff – to put England in a commanding position after they were put into bat by Aussie captain Steve Smith at the toss.

Morgan was ably assisted by Moeen Ali, who blasted an unbeaten 72 off 46 balls, including six 4s and three 6s. The pair’s contrasting styles were hugely effective in putting Australia to the sword. While Ali preferred to flick and flay Australia along the floor square of the wicket, Morgan went aerial, repeatedly smacking the ball down the ground.

Jos Buttler came and went, hitting a bright and breezy 11 off 4 balls before being caught by Pat Cummins off Mitchell Starc and Sam Billings made 2 before being run out.

Cummins’ pace had been too much for openers Alex Hales and Jason Roy in the early exchanges. Both batsmen were dismissed in the same over, as England only managed 27/2 off their powerplay overs, before Morgan and Ali staged their fightback.

Despite the odd misfield and Smith’s onslaught, England held their nerve to secure the win by 5 runs amid wild celebrations at The SSE SWALEC.

WATCH: Steve Smith and Alex Blackwell

Men’s stand-in T20 skipper Steve Smith and victorious women’s vice-captain Alex Blackwell face the media on the eve of their sides’ clashes with English counterparts.

Smith formally congratulated Blackwell and his opposite number Meg Lanning on their team’s Ashes triumph, after Australia’s women regained the Ashes by beating England at Hove earlier this week.

Smith, who will captain Australia’s T20 side in place of the injured Aaron FInch, took the unusual step of naming his full XI for the game tomorrow afternoon.

Smith names Australia team for T20

The Australian captain Steve Smith, standing in for T20 captain Aaron Finch, took the unusual step of naming his team for tomorrow’s game at the pre-match press conference.

Smith, who will lead a new-look Australia team at the same ground where the tourists fell behind in the Ashes Test series, was joined by Australia women’s vice-captain Alex Blackwell.

The new captain fielded questions about how his team may bounce back from Ashes disappointment and when asked who may replace Finch at the top of the Australian batting order, Smith reeled-off the full XI to take on England on Monday.

“Watson is going to open the batting tomorrow,” said Smith.

He then confirmed the full team as follows:

Shane Watson, David Warner, Steve Smith (capt.), Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Cameron Boyce.

After struggling in Englilsh (and Welsh conditions) on the tour, Smith reiterated how vital it was for the Australians to test themselves in tough batting conditions.

Smith scored 33 in both innings in the first Investec Ashes Test at The SSE SWALEC and will hope to fare better on his second visit to South Wales.

He said: “I think playing in these conditions is really important for us. Every opportunity we get to play in these conidtions, we have to relish.

“It’s been disappoitnting for us with the Ashes and not being able to retain them, but it’s a fresh start for us, a new captain obviously and hopefully i can take this team forward.”

Smith admitted surrendering the Ashes over to England after their 3-2 series defeat had been tough to take but said the team needed to look forward, starting with the T20 encounter at Cardiff. He also suggested that the fresh faces in the squad – including the likes of uncapped Mitchell Stoinis and leg-spinner Cameron Boyce – could inject some much-needed life into a tiring squad.

He added: “We want to start this tour well and gain some momentum going into the One-Dayers. It’s been a long tour for some of the Test guys and having some new faces brings some exuberance into the group.”

Full audio of Smith and Brackwell’s conference:

Key clash of the day: Moeen Ali v Steve Smith

On what may turn out to be the final day of a thrilling test match at The SSE SWALEC, one player from either side may make the difference. With the Cardiff pitch deteriorating and the Aussies looking to make inroads into an imposing fourth innings target, the battle between these two men may be pivotal to the outcome of the day.

Moeen Ali

Derided by some for being a “part-time” spinner, Ali’s place in the team appeared under threat before the series, particularly after Adil Rashid’s impressive displays in the ODI series versus New Zealand. But the Worcestershire man keeps coming back. He took the prize wickets of Smith and Michael Clarke in the first innings and will surely play a vital role in securingthe 10 wickets England need in final innings.

MOEEN IN NUMBERS:

33 – number of Test wickets.

1 – wicket taken by Moeen on debut.

3.62 – his Test economy rate (Aus scored at 3.63 in their first innings.

Steve Smith in The SSE SWALEC nets.

Steve Smith in The SSE SWALEC nets.

Steve Smith

The new No 1 batsman in the world looked all of a tizz in the first innings, thanks to Ali who won the first of many duels this summer. Smith has an impeccable record since his flight up the order, completing an unlikely journey from fringe leg-spinner to frontline batsman. So he cannot be underestimated by England. Smith will most likely look to attack Ali, which may bring English fielders into the game.

SMITH IN NUMBERS:

9 – number of Test hundreds.

8 – the number Steve batted at on his Test debut, in 2010.

56.23 – Smith’s Test average.

What the papers say: Friday 10 July

On the morning of a crucial third day of the first Investec Ashes Test, we round up what the papers are saying, after England fought hard on a sweltering second day.

The BBC’s cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew said this morning that the tactis employed by Australia against Moeen Ali were too obvious and too impatient and he praised the spinner’s all-round qualities, which made the difference on day two.

“But, as India found out last year, attacking Moeen is dangerous, and especially on a pitch as slow as this.” Jonathan Agnew, BBC Sport.

Esteemed cricket writer Gideon Haigh, in the Australian, blames Steve Smith’s unnecessary and bizarre dismissal as the catalyst for the visitors’ struggles yesterday. He says they are overly reliant on the runs of the No 1 batsman in the world.

“It left Australia 129 for two but strangely disoriented, having so thoroughly based their formula around runs from Smith…” Gideon Haigh, The Australian.

The Guardian’s chief sports writer Barney Ronay also says Smith for throwing his wicket away, but says the Australian No 3’s role of best batsman in the world is just a temporary mantle – the product of a purple patch in Test cricket.

“Credit must go to Moeen, though, who saw Smith coming and fired the ball in at his feet.” Barney Ronay, The Guardian.

Finally, in the Daily Mail, former England captain Nasser Hussain lauds England’s balanced bowling attack, aided by the pace and aggression of Mark Wood, who Hussain says has taken to Test cricket like a duck to water.

“In his brief England career so far, I’ve not seen Wood look out of his depth at all. New guys occasionally look like liabilities. Not Wood.” Nasser Hussain, Daily Mail.

Mark Wood celebrates as he has Chris Rogers caught by Jos Buttler.

Mark Wood celebrates as he has Chris Rogers caught by Jos Buttler.

Australia take to the nets

It’s all action at The SSE SWALEC with less than 48 hours to go until the first ball in the first Ashes Test. This morning, the Australian squad took to the pitch for their pre-match training session, with both batsmen and bowlers keen to familiarise themselves with conditions ahead of the match.

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