The cricket world is used to looking at Steve Smith in awe but the Aussie legend has just gone to the next level.
Smith was once again the linchpin for the Sixers, slamming a 33-ball 66 as the Sixers’ 7/180 was enough for a 24-run win.
It leaves Hobart needing a win in its final match against the Brisbane Heat on Wednesday and results to go its way to make the playoffs.
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But once again, the story of the night was Steve Smith.
Since the end of the Test series against South Africa, Smith has played three matches, hitting 36, 101 and 125 not out.
In his fourth regular season match since reconnecting with the Sydney Sixers, it appeared nothing could stop Smith’s charge to a third consecutive T20 century — which is absurd for a man who couldn’t force his way into the Australian T20 World Cup side.
No batter has ever hit three consecutive T20 centuries and unfortunately that’s still the case s Smith missed a Nathan Ellis full toss on leg stump and was given out, having brought up his fifty in a personal best 22 balls.
His innings saw four fours and six sixes including a massive sweep that landed on the roof at Blundstone Arena.
Not a noted T20 player with the rather average for a player who smashes records like he does average of 30.89 and a strike rate of 127.06, Smith’s cameo in the Big Bash has been nothing short of a revelation.
In just four innings’, he sits eight on the run scoring list with 328 runs at an average of 109.33 and strike rate of 180.21. He has also plundered 24 sixes.
The next best average is the Heat’s Nathan McSweeney at 59, although he played just three matches, the next best strike rate for a batter who has faced more than 100 balls is Tim David at 163.55.
And David and Matt Short each have the second most number of sixes — 18 each from 13 matches.
The cricket world has looked on in awe at Smith in his recent feats and have no doubt he should be back in the Aussie T20 side.
ABC broadcaster Corbin Middlemas tweeted: “When Australia pick their next T20 team in August against South Africa … who are the other ten to partner Steve Smith?”
The Daily Telegraph’s Phil Rothfield opined: “Leaving Steve Smith out of T20 World Cup side ranks alongside the greatest selection blunders in Australian sporting history”.
England’s Mirror reporter James Whaling posted: “Few finer sights in sport than a batsman of Steve Smith’s calibre in form like this. Hopefully getting all of his runs out of the way before the summer”,
1 News New Zealand sports reporter Guy Heveldt said: “Steve Smith is outrageous atm”.
Aussie great Lisa Sthalekar added: “Should Steve Smith be automatically selected the next time Aus plays T20 cricket?”
But while Smith was incredible, when he was dismissed on the last ball of the ninth over with the score on 2/87 and heading for over 200, the Hurricanes were able to bring it back, restricting the Sixers to 7/180, with Ben Dwarshuis’ 14-ball 30 and Moises Henriques 16-ball 23 helping the side to the score.
Regular wickets meant the Hurricvanes were never really in the hunt.
England star Zak Crawley’s 45-ball 49 was the best for Hobart, while Nathan Ellis’ nine-ball 20 not out at the end flattered the scoreline.