Former Australian skipper Steve Smith is regarded among the best batter in the current crop of cricketers. Having already stamped his authority as a batter, Smith is also widely known for his street-smart skills in the middle and the same was evident during the ongoing third and final One-Day International against New Zealand.
After nearly two years, the Aussie batter smashed his 12th ODI century as he scored 105 off 131 deliveries including one maximum and 11 boundaries in the first innings. Smith's ton, Marnus Labuschagne's 52 and 42 from wicket-keeper batter Alex Carry propelled Australia to 267/5 in the first innings.
While the game brought the best out of Smith with the bat, the batter also showed class with his sharp presence of mind during his innings. It was the 38th over of the innings when Smith realised the fact that five fielders were standing outside the 30-yard circle and knowing it to be a no-ball, Smith shuffled towards the off-side and smashed the bowler for a six on the leg side.
After having timed the ball well, Smith instantly approached the umpire at square-leg and informed him about the presence of five fielders outside the 30-yard circle. Although, Smith earned a free-hit with his great awareness of fielders in the ground, he could not capitalize the free-hit as Neesham escaped the situation with a slower bouncer, as the Australian batter completely mistimed the ball.
Speaking of the game, Smith brought up his 12th ODI century off 127 balls off Tim Southee in the 44th over. Notably, it was Smith's first ODI century since November 2020, where he made successive hundreds against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Smith and Marnus Labuschagne stitched a crucial 122-run stand that steadied the Australian innings which was very well capped by Alex Carry and a quickfire cameo by Cameron Green helped hosts to put 267/7 in 50 overs.