Smith scores second century as Australia take ODI series against India

Australia's Steve Smith celebrates after scoring a century during the one day international cricket match between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (AP)
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Updated 30 November 2020

Smith scores second century as Australia take ODI series against India

  • Australia’s win may have come at a cost, however, with David Warner injuring his groin in a fielding tumble

SYDNEY: Another pulsating Steve Smith century and two flying outfield catches clinched the one-day international (ODI) series for Australia with a 51-run victory over India in Sydney on Sunday.

Smith tormented India with his second blistering hundred in as many matches as Australia posted another huge target, reaching 389-4 off 50 overs.

The Australians then restricted India to 338-9 from their 50 overs with Virat Kohli falling on 89 to a magnificent Moises Henriques catch when the master batsman was closing in on a century.

Smith followed up his 105 off 66 balls in Friday’s first ODI victory with an equally dominant 104 off 64 balls as the Indians couldn’t stem the runs on a slow-paced Sydney Cricket Ground pitch in searing conditions.

The total surpassed Australia’s 374 for six which set up Friday’s 66-run crushing win in the first ODI on the same ground and was the third-highest total scored against India.

“I felt good from ball one. Got myself in and went hard,” Smith said. “It was another great foundation set by Finchy and Davey (Warner). That enabled myself and Maxi (Glenn Maxwell) to go hard at the back end.”

It was India’s fifth consecutive ODI defeat — for the first time since January 2016 — with the tourists now bidding to prevent a series whitewash in Wednesday’s final game in Canberra.

“They have outplayed us. We were ineffective with the ball, and didn’t hit the areas,” Kohli said.

“They have a strong batting lineup, they know the conditions and the angles well.

“The chase felt steep. They took the chances that they created in the field, which was the difference.”

Australia’s win may have come at a cost, however, with David Warner injuring his groin in a fielding tumble and likely to be out for the next ODI — and possibly the following T20 series.

Australia’s top order made India pay after skipper Aaron Finch won his second toss of the series to subject the tourists to another afternoon of toil under a hot sun.

Warner hit 83 off 77 balls, Finch 60 off 69, Marnus Labuschagne 70 off 60 and Glenn Maxwell bludgeoned a crowd-pleasing unbeaten 63 from 29 balls.

Smith put on a batting clinic with a full array of quirky shot-making as he raced to triple figures, laced with 14 fours and two sixes.

He fell two balls later stretching for a wide slower delivery off Hardik Pandya and getting a thick edge to Mohammed Shami at third man.

Finch and Warner brought up their 12th century opening stand off 16 overs before Finch mistimed Shami and spooned a catch to Kohli via his pads.


Arteta eyes new signings as Arsenal shed fringe players

Updated 22 January 2021

Arteta eyes new signings as Arsenal shed fringe players

LONDON: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is focusing on potential signings in the January transfer window after trimming his squad but refused to be drawn on a loan move for Real Madrid’s Martin Odegaard

Sokratis Papastathopoulos was released from his contract this week, while Mesut Ozil is on the brink of a transfer to Turkish club Fenerbahce.

Sead Kolasinac and William Saliba have already left on loan deals as Arteta seeks to re-balance his squad.

The Arsenal boss, speaking ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round match at Southampton, would not be drawn on reports linking the club with a loan move for Real’s attacking midfielder Odegaard.

But he said the focus would now turn to the entrance door rather than the exit at the Emirates.

“We are in that process now,” Arteta said on Thursday when asked if it was now time to start bringing players in.

“We have done the first part more or less and we are focusing now on the second phase.

“Obviously this market and the context makes it difficult, but we are looking at options and we will see what we can do.”

Arteta, whose team are FA Cup holders, said the departures had left his squad short in certain areas.

He said a left-back could be on the radar, with the decision to allow Kolasinac to join Schalke until the end of the season leaving him with only Kieran Tierney as a natural option.

“With the departure of Kola we are a little bit short with left-footed fullbacks at the moment,” he added.

Both Ozil and Sokratis were omitted from Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squads for the first half of the season.

Arteta had stressed several times he was unhappy with the bloated nature of the squad and feels the departures will help him achieve a better balance.

“We could not carry on with 31 players in the squad,” he said. “It is unmanageable. And when you have to leave some of the foreign players out, it makes it even  more difficult.

“To do it for a few weeks is OK, to do it for months and maintain the health, the ambition and the chemistry is really complicated.

“So one of the main objectives was to make some decisions about how we are going to offset that. We have done it.”