Menu
Sport

Steve Smith's dazzling 164 and super catch score win

STEVE Smith backed up his strong leadership stance against Glenn Maxwell by single-handedly thumping New Zealand with the most dazzling century of his ODI career.

The three men who had the most pressure on them to put the Maxwell drama to bed stood up and put on their own Big Show at the SCG against the Black Caps, with Travis Head and Matt Wade producing brilliant cameos to support their skipper.

Australia's dream all-NSW fast bowling attack then combined for the first time ever to seal a 68-run win, with Josh Hazlewood the pick of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins to continue his blazing Test form with a comprehensive three-wicket performance.

Six-hitting machine Martin Guptill did his best to spoil the party with a bulldozing hundred, but ironically it was Maxwell, on the field for a brief substitute cameo, who held onto a rocket of a catch at mid-wicket with trademark ease to virtually stop the kiwi charge in its tracks.

That said, this was always a night for hometown hero Smith and his untouchable shot-making with the bat and a breathtaking one-handed classic catch busted a five-match losing streak that means Australia can now reclaim the Chappell-Hadlee trophy in Canberra on Tuesday.

"It seemed that way, when you're on you're on as they say," said Smith.

"I got lucky with that (catch) that stuck. They either stick or they don't. It was nice.

"I actually liked the (hundred) I got here in the World Cup semi-final a bit better, under the circumstances.

"But this one would certainly be up there. Obviously coming in the first over under a little bit of pressure and having to be the glue through a few wickets … it was a pleasing hundred."

The controversial decision to leave out World Cup stars Maxwell and James Faulkner appeared on the verge of backfiring when Australia lurched to 4-92 batting first, but Smith's action-packed innings which featured 14 boundaries and four sixes almost single-handedly lifted the hosts to an imposing total of 324.

Head has essentially taken Maxwell's place in the batting order over recent months but justified any conjecture over his selection with a rock solid half century as part of a critical 127-run stand with Smith.

Meanwhile, Wade showcased his batting class with a quick-fire 38 - the sight of Maxwell personally running water out to him in the middle symbolic of how this week's feud has played out for the Victorian teammates.

Smith's exhilarating 164 at better than a run-a-ball not only stands as his highest ever ODI score but it eclipses South African star AB de Villiers' mark of 162 as the biggest score ever posted in coloured clothing at his beloved home ground in Sydney.

Cricketing immortal Sir Gary Sobers has labelled Smith his favourite current player, for his ability to play solidly with an extremely good defence, followed by the exquisite confidence to unleash such a creative range of shots.

More on this at the Daily Telegraph

Topics:  cricket editors picks new zealand one day international steve smith