Champion batsman Steve Smith was ropeable at being given out caught behind on the final day of NSW’s Sheffield Shield clash with Victoria at the SCG today.
But the mood of the former Australia skipper may have improved as he kicked back in the stands to the sight of teammate Sean Abbott destroying Victoria’s attack.
NSW’s second innings, in which they scrambled to 175 all out to set Victoria 141 to win, continued to plummet when Smith was deemed to have nicked a Will Sutherland delivery through to wicketkeeper Seb Gotch.
The Blues were at one stage 8-91, having lost eight wickets for just 69 runs since the fall of the first wicket, with Smith’s dismissal reducing the hosts to 6-68 in the 30th over of their innings.
But Smith clearly didn’t think his bat had brushed the ball, with the reigning Allan Border medallist shaking his head repeatedly and looking around in frustration as he trudged from the middle.
Victoria eventually won the first Sheffield Shield match of the competition restart by four wickets, but not before a blitz of 73 runs off just 75 balls from Abbott late in NSW’s innings had lifted the Blues to a total that appeared defendable.
The big-hitting all-rounder, who was included in Australia’s Test squads for the Indian series and cancelled tour of South Africa, pummeled five fours and six sixes to drive the Blues from 6-68 to 175 all out.