Steve Smith has left the cricket world in a frenzy after a stunning first for the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League on Tuesday night. The Aussie Test vice-captain - who recently linked up with the Sixers for a cameo stint in the BBL - became the first batter in franchise history to score a century for the Sydney side in Australia's domestic T20 competition.
The 33-year-old lived up to his billing as the BBL's marquee signing by belting his way into the record books against the Adelaide Strikers in Coffs Harbour. Smith smashed 101 from 56 deliveries to equal his highest score in any T20 match, as the Sixers beat Adelaide by 59 runs.
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In his second game back from a three-year BBL hiatus, Smith shared in a 149-run partnership with Kurtis Patterson (43) to set the platform for Sydney in style. Their partnership is the highest so far in this season's BBL and allowed the Sixers to recover from the early loss of Josh Philippe (1) to post 203 runs after being sent in to bat by the Strikers.
Adelaide were bundled all out for 144 in reply with Ben Dwarshuis the pick of the bowlers for the Sixers. Dwarshuis claimed 3-28 with Todd Murphy also grabbing three scalps as Sydney ran out easy winners.
The equal-best individual innings of the BBL summer came to an end when Smith scrapped plans to sneak a second run but slipped as he turned back to his crease only to be run out by Matt Short. Smith's dismissal was bookended by the quick wickets of Patterson and captain Moises Henriques (four) in a six-ball period - the only highlight for the Strikers in the field.
Smith rode his luck on the way to the landmark century, with Adelaide missing three early chances to claim the danger man's wicket. The former Test captain first slid into his crease just before Colin de Grandhomme hit the stumps directly, then avoided chopping on in the same over when the ball rolled into the stumps off his bat but did not dislodge the bails.
In the next over, Smith edged Henry Thornton just shy of wicketkeeper Alex Carey. He then went into overdrive, kickstarting his innings with consecutive boundaries off Wes Agar and bringing his half-century up with a four past deep point.
With a single from the last ball before drinks, the 33-year-old equalled his previous BBL high score of 66 before accelerating. Patterson began to get in on the action in the power surge, slapping a four past deep cover to bring up the 100-run partnership.
Steve Smith continues brilliant summer with landmark ton
With a six over deep backward square leg, Smith became the third man this summer to hit a BBL century and broke Philippe's record for highest score by a Sixers batsman (99). The century is the latest highlight in a brilliant summer with the bat for Smith, who made an unbeaten 200 against the West Indies and a century against South Africa.
Tuesday night's brilliant knock sparked a wave of reaction from fans on social media.
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