Steve Smith is lamenting a missed opportunity on two fronts, having thrown away a century which he feels cost Australia victory in their Twenty20 clash with England in Cardiff.
A career-best 90 wasn’t enough to steer Australia home as they suffered a five-run loss in the one-off clash on Monday.
His previous best, a 34 against Sri Lanka five years ago, is now dwarfed by a knock which thrilled the sell-out crowd at Sofia Gardens – but didn’t finish the job, with the tourists reaching 8-177 chasing the target of 183.
“It would have been nice to have been 100 not out and win that game but it wasn’t to be,” Smith said.
“I was disappointed when I got out. I was trying to get the side home and it didn’t work out.”
Smith’s skied catch off David Willey, with 19 still required, proved crucial and Australia folded, losing 5-16, with debutant Marcus Stoinis making costly errors in a tough initiation to international cricket.
The young allrounder bowled just one over, at a cost of 13 runs, and was at fault for the runout of keeper Matthew Wade to start the final over – with 11 runs still required and hope evaporating.
“Anytime you’re in those situations it’s tough,” Smith said of Stoinis’ difficult debut.
“It’s his first game and he came in and needed over 10 an over.
“It was difficult circumstances and he’ll be better for the run.
“I’m sure he was a little bit nervous walking out to bat as everyone is in their first game.”
Smith came to the crease early, following the cheap dismissals of David Warner (4) and Shane Watson (8), but he rebuilt the Australian innings with a 112-run partnership with Glenn Maxwell (44).
Smith batted beautifully, and produced the shot of the day when he whipped a pull shot off his hip and into the top tier of the grandstand, but his dismissal proved fatal to Australia’s cause.
Earlier, Australia’s bowlers felt the wrath of a 135-run partnership between Moeen Ali and Eoin Morgan, which formed the backbone of the home side’s total of 5-182.
Stoinis was smacked for six into the stands by Moeen with his first delivery – and his second raced along the ground for a boundary.
Combining with England stuttering at 2-18, Moeen (72 not out) and Morgan (74 off 39) countered brilliantly.
No bowler was safe from the onslaught as England raced from 100 to 150 in the space of 17 balls.
Young legspinner Boyce, brought on the tour purely for the T20 fixture, was handed the most severe punishment – conceding 19 runs from his six balls.
Morgan blasted Watson for two monster sixes which left the ground and landed near the neighbouring Taff River, where the ball was retrieved by a bemused bystander.
Cummins, bowling express pace, took two wickets in his opening over to rattle the home side.
The 22-year-old sent down some of the fastest deliveries of the tour, with the speed gun readings nudging past 150km/h – too quick for Alex Hales, who missed a full toss which cannoned into his stumps.
Morgan’s superb innings was brought to an end when, chasing an eighth six, he was well caught on the boundary by Watson off Nathan Coulter-Nile.