'Sandpaper for Sale' - South African fans boo Steve Smith in the first T20I
It was quite visible that the South African fans have not forgiven Smith for his actions during Cape Town Test in 2018.
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South Africa was involved in the first game of the three-match T20I series against Australia. This was the first occasion after the infamous sandpaper gate scandal that Steve Smith was playing against Proteas in their backyard. And, he was welcomed by the fans with some placards and signboards of selling sandpaper in order to take a dig at Smith.
Earlier, the hosts won the toss and elected to bowl and they got off to a dream start as they managed to send David Warner back to pavilion on the second delivery of the innings. It was a big blow for the visitors but they soon recovered from the same on the back Steve Smith’s gutsy knock of 45 runs off 32 balls and Aarons Finch’s 42 runs off 27 balls.
The duo stitched a brilliant partnership of 80 runs for the 2nd wicket. Alex Carry and Mitchell Marsh also contributed well with the bat as the former scored 27 runs whereas the latter mustered 27 runs. In the end, Ashton Agar also played a cameo of 22 runs off 9 balls that helped Australia in posting a mammoth total of 196 runs for a loss of six wickets in stipulated 20 overs.
South African fans take a dig at SandpaperGate scandal
However, Steve Smith’s booing instance happened on the fourth delivery of the third over when Dale Steyn had the ball in his hand with the former Aussie skipper on strike. By mistake, Steyn bowled a ball that reached Smith in a couple of bounces, who smacked it over mid-on for a boundary. Later on, the onfield umpire adjudged it as a dead ball.
Steve Smith was not impressed with the decision of the umpire as it was pretty evident from his reaction. Soon after that, the South African fans started booing for the right-handed batsman’s antics. There were some placards used that read, “Sandpaper for sale. Pocket-sized for extra discreetness.”
It was quite visible that the South African fans have not forgiven Smith for his actions during Cape Town Test in 2018. He was also handed with a year ban along with David Warner for their involvement in changing the condition of the ball using sandpaper.
Coming into the match, South Africa lost the match by a huge margin of 107 runs. None of the hosts’ batters managed to click good knocks with the bat. On the other hand, Ashton Agar, the left-arm spinner grabbed his first international hat-trick in the shorter format. Moreover, he was awarded the Man of the match for registering amazing bowling figures of 5/24.