Steve Smith scores 91* as Australia seal series

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Steve Smith during 91 not out against Kiwis. Pic Source Cricket Australia

The former Australia skipper and the one who was banned in spot fixing row, Steve Smith continued his brilliant form in the pre World Cup warm up series against New Zealand. Smith on Friday, May 10 scored unbeaten 91 as Australia defeated Kiwis through D/L/S method after rain interruption.

Apart from Smith’s unbeaten 91, Glenn Maxwell scored 70 to lead Australia to win in their final warm-up game before leaving for England to defend their World Cup title.

Australia were on 248 for five off 44 overs in reply to an under-strength New Zealand’s 286 for nine from 50 overs.

After returning to Australia colors after facing ban for ball-tampering, former skipper Smith, batting at three has been in superb form. In the earlier match he had scored 89 not out.

But David Warner, who was in imperious touch during the Indian Premier League, flopped again in opening the innings, out for two to follow his duck and 39 in the series.

Like Smith, Maxwell has been in good touch, pounding 70 off 48 balls to go with the quick-fire 52 he made on Wednesday.

For New Zealand, the unheralded Will Young smashed his second century in a row, mastering a top-notch Australian attack led by Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc.

The 26-year-old, who is uncapped and not part of New Zealand’s World Cup squad, followed up a classy 130 on Wednesday by reaching another ton with a pull for six over mid-wicket.

He eventually fell to Marcus Stoinis for 111.

While this week’s series was unofficial, his tally of 301 is just shy of the New Zealand record for a three-match one-day series, held by Martin Guptill who scored 330 against England in 2013.

Opener George Worker chipped in with 59, while Cummins was the best of the bowlers, taking 4-32 off eight overs.

Cummins and Starc, who took one wicket, were playing together for the first time in three months as the latter returns from injury.

Australia won the series 2-1, claiming a close opening game at Allan Border Field by one wicket while their trans-Tasman rivals bounced back to easily take the second by seven wickets.

Australia play two more warm-up matches at Southampton, against England and Sri Lanka, later this month before opening their World Cup campaign against Afghanistan in Bristol on June 1.

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