Centurion Smith unfazed by England boos

By Sports Desk May 25, 2019

Former Australia captain Steve Smith said the hostile reception he received at the Ageas Bowl was like "water off a duck's back" after his century set up a 12-run Cricket World Cup warm-up victory over England.

The in-form Smith was booed when he walked to the crease, then when he reached his half-century and brought up a brilliant hundred on Saturday.

David Warner was also heckled by fans in their first match against England since returning from a one-year suspension for their part in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.

Smith, who made 116 from 102 balls a week before Australia start their World Cup defence against Afghanistan, was unfazed by the abuse he received.

"I heard a few things as I went out to bat, but it didn't really get to me. I'm kind of just trying to keep my head down and move straight ahead and just do my job," Smith said.

"Fortunately, I was able to score a few runs for the team and, more importantly, spend some time in the middle before our first game of the World Cup."

Smith added: "It doesn't bother me, it's just doing my job and I know that I've got the support of my team-mates up on the balcony and that's the most important thing. If I can make them proud out in the middle and make Australians proud as much as I can, well, that's my job.

"I just blank it out. They call it white noise. When I am out there I pay no attention to the crowd and just move on with playing the game."

Smith said he had not been on the receiving end of hostility from the public in England prior to the match at the home of Hampshire.

"No, it's been really good I haven't copped any which is really nice. I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion and how they want to treat people, but it is water off a duck's back," he said. 

"I'll just do my own thing and just keep working hard to play hard."

England were all out for 285 in the final over in reply to 297-9, with concerns over a foot injury suffered by Mark Wood. Jofra Archer also suffered an injury scare but was able to bat.

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    Quinton de Kock scored 68 as South Africa eased to their first victory of the Cricket World Cup, hammering Afghanistan by nine wickets in Cardiff.

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    INTERRUPTIONS COSTLY FOR AFGHANISTAN

    Afghanistan's innings never got out of second gear but two spells of rain cost them any chance of settling against a much-improved Proteas attack.

    That opener Noor Ali took 58 balls to amass his 32 demonstrated Afghanistan's struggles to alleviate the pressure and they did not clear the ropes at all despite Khan's lively cameo seeing them to three figures.


    TAHIR COLLECTS CHEAP WICKETS

    The oldest player in the tournament, Tahir recorded mediocre figures in his previous appearances at this World Cup, but the 40-year-old found the drop in quality provided by struggling Afghanistan useful for his leg-breaks.

    A haul of four wickets doubles his tally at the 2019 tournament but, given the gulf in quality between the two sides, his typically exuberant celebrations, racing gleefully across the outfield, were perhaps needlessly over the top on this occasion.


    AMLA STILL SEEKING FORM

    Having scored only 25 runs across his three previous World Cup innings, Amla can be forgiven for taking his time at the crease in a chase that was at times painfully slow from South Africa.

    But, although Amla successfully carried his bat, there were few signs to suggest the 36-year-old is coming into any sort of form and the Proteas will need more from one of their leading lights.

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