Steve Smith Leads Australia Past Pakistan

Steve Smith’s maiden ODI century has propelled Australia to a 93-run victory over Pakistan in Sharjah in the first of a three-match series in the United Arab Emirates.

The 25-year-old entered at number three after opener Aaron Finch fell to a first ball duck, smashing 101 runs from 118 deliveries, including six 4s and a pair of 6s.

“I just tried to spend time in the middle, get the ones and twos and hit the bad balls,” Smith said. “Hopefully I will get a few more opportunities [at No 3] and a few more big scores.”

A further 43 (five boundaries) from David Warner helped Australia to reach a 50-over total of 255 for the loss of just eight wickets.

“Very pleased (with the performance),” captain George Bailey said after the match.

“I thought we were maybe 15-20 runs short with the bat but an outstanding performance with the ball…a pretty good all-round performance.”

Australia’s best work came with the ball. Mitchell Johnson (three wickets), Nathan Lyon (2) and Glenn Maxwell (2) combined to do the brunt of the damage as Bailey’s side dismissed the ‘host’ nation with more than 13 overs to spare.

The efficient bowling run saw Lyon concede a team-high 33 runs from his full 10 overs while Maxwell and Johnson weren’t forced to go into overdrive, doing their work in six and seven overs respectively. 

“It’s not a good start to the series,” said Pakistani captain Misbah-ul-Haq after the demolition.  

“We have to work a lot on our batting. We have to do a lot of things, the batsmen are not getting the big scores and it is a worry for us. You need to be positive all the time and forget the previous game and comeback strongly.”

The second ODI will move to Dubai on Sunday before a final match in Abu Dhabi. The series will be followed with a pair of Test matches kicking off in Dubai on Wednesday, October 22. 

Photo: Marwan Naamani/Getty Images