Steve Smith hits 77-ball 89 but Australia XI lose to New Zealand XI

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David Warner, who returned to open the innings for Australia XI, failed but Steve Smith hit a classy 89 to help the team post 277 for 6 in 50 overs in their second warm-up match against New Zealand XI.

Steve Smith was in fine form for Australia XI against New Zealand XI on Wednesday (@cricketcomau Photo)

Steve Smith was in fine form for Australia XI against New Zealand XI on Wednesday (@cricketcomau Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • New Zealand XI defeated Australia XI by 7 wickets after Will Young’s 130
  • Smith’s 89 is his best score in more than two years in a 50-over match
  • Warner was out for 0 as he lasted just 6 balls after being sent into open

Steve Smith and David Warner had vastly contrasting fortunes in their second matches back in an Australian uniform since their 12-month suspensions in the wake of a ball-tampering scandal.

Smith scored 89 not out from 77 balls to help lead Australia to 277-6 in a practice match against New Zealand on Wednesday at Allan Border Field. It was Smith’s best score in more than two years in a 50-over match.

New Zealand won the match by seven wickets with 16 balls remaining. Pace spearhead Mitchell Starc, returning from injury, took 2-14 from five overs for Australia.

Will Young was run out for 130 and captain Tom Latham was 69 not out to guide New Zealand to the win.

Smith hit three sixes over mid-off and thumped a straight drive past the bowler early in his innings Wednesday, then increased his scoring rate in his final eight overs.

Warner, promoted to his usual opening spot after batting No. 3 in his return on Monday, lasted just six balls when he knocked a simple catch to cover.

Australia won the first of three practice matches by one wicket with 10 balls to spare on Monday. The last practice match is Friday as both teams prepare for the World Cup in England starting May 30.

Smith and Warner each served a year-long ban for their part in a ball-tampering scandal during a test match against South Africa at Cape Town in March 2018.

Both players, who returned to limited-overs action in the Indian Premier League last month, are in Australia’s World Cup squad and are expected to provide invaluable scoring punch in Australia’s defense of the title it won in 2015.

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