AUS vs NZ: Steve Smith's excellent game awareness earns Australia a free hit during the first innings of the final ODI

Steve Smith stroked 105 runs during the first innings against New Zealand.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith. (Photo Source: SonyLiv)
Pranchal Srivastava

Jr. Staff Writer

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Team Australia's batter Steven Smith's excellent presence of mind earned his team a free-hit during the first innings of the final ODI match between Australia and New Zealand.

The right-handed batter also completed a sensational century to put his team in a commanding position after the first innings. Smith stroked 105 runs off 131 balls and smashed 11 fours and one maximum before being scalped by the left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner. 

Smith immediately gestured to the umpire that there are five fielders outside the 30-yard circle

The Australian batter was facing James Neesham during the 38th over of the first innings as he smoked the pacer over mid-wicket to collect six runs. As soon as Smith hit the boundary, he immediately looked towards the leg umpire and gestured him that there were five fielders outside the 30-yard circle, which is probably why he went for the big stroke. 

However, the right-handed batter could not take advantage of the free-hit delivery as Neesham bowled a slower bumper outside the off-stump as Smith missed his shot. 

Had to take time early, says Smith after playing one of his best knocks

As mentioned above, Smith completed an excellent hundred and some late hitting from Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey and Cameron Green ensured that the Men in Yellow cross the 260-run mark in their allotted 50 overs. 

"Had to take our time early, to give ourselves a chance and build a partnership. I was just batting simply early on,and didn't think too much about it. And when I decided to take more of a chance, I was hitting with the wind. I think we have a strong total on the board," Smith said during the mid-innings break. 

The home team will want to win the final match of the series and give a fitting farewell to their skipper Aaron Finch who is playing his last game in the 50-over format.