Steve Smith has revealed he suffered a back injury in the lead-up to his stunning BBL century on Saturday night and couldn't run towards the end of his innings. Smith blasted 125 not out from 66 balls as the Sydney Sixers thrashed the cross-town rivals Thunder by 125 runs.
Smith's masterful knock was the highest T20 score of his career and the fifth-highest score by an individual batter in BBL history. However the former Australia captain revealed after the match that he put his back out in the nets just days prior, and was suffering spasms as he made his century.
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"I just had some spasming this afternoon," he said post-match. "I struggle to get upright.
"I can bend (forwards) all right but getting into an extension is not ideal. It probably helped me in my batting, kept me a bit lower. It's a bit stiff but hopefully I pull up okay."
Smith could hardly run while fielding late in the match, but wasn't substituted out. He also downplayed fears the ailment will affect him during Australia's upcoming four-Test tour of India.
"I'm pretty certain we'll be all right," he said, adding he doesn't think a knee injury will keep Nathan Lyon from playing the first Test come February 9. Sixers spinner Lyon missed a second straight BBL game due to soreness.
Smith is averaging 131 in the BBL this season in just three innings. The 33-year-old is thriving on an opportunity to open the batting for the Sixers after being largely overlooked for Australia's XI at the T20 World Cup last year.
But Smith says said his incredible recent form has been driven by his love for the game, rather than a desire to prove T20 selectors wrong or re-assert his status as a multi-format player. "I just came here to play and enjoy myself and help the Sixers have success," he said.
"In my first three knocks, I've batted nicely in all of them. I feel like I'm in a good place at the top of the order. It's a place I think most people probably enjoy batting. It's been really enjoyable so far."
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Despite playing just three games, Smith has the equal-most sixes this season. Teammate Steve O'Keefe said of Smith's knock on Saturday night: "That's the best 100 I've seen live. The way that (Smith) comes back and stays connected and wants to win for any team that he plays for is pretty special. You can tell he's obsessed with cricket and wants to score runs."
Sixers captain Moises Henriques added: “That’s a 155-160 par wicket and Steve is just doing Steve Smith things out there. That was incredible. Some of those shots, I was standing up the other end just gobsmacked.
“I’ve been playing cricket with him for 15 years, 20 years but that’s probably one of the best T20 knocks I’ve ever seen. This is a much worse wicket than the one we saw at Coffs and this wicket actually blows that last innings out of the park.
“That’s not an easy wicket to bat on. That was incredible to watch. I’m speechless, to be honest. To think we wouldn’t let him play last year. Look at the people he’s pleased tonight, that was special to watch and I had the best seats in the house.”
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