[Video] Steve Smith given standing ovation by English crowd after he ends Ashes 2019 journey with 774 runs
Former Australian skipper Steve Smith was given a rousing ovation from the packed crowd at the Oval Ground on Sunday following his dismissal for 23 in the final innings of the recently-concluded Ashes 2019 series. The score was Smith's lowest in 11 Ashes innings across two series. Smith's early dismissal helped England script a stunning 135-run win the fifth Test despite tough resistance from centurion Matthew Wade. The series ended in a 2-2 stalemate.
Smith began his redemption series amid the merciless boos from the English crowd and scored 144 and 142 in the Ashes 2019 opener at Edgbaston in what was his first Test match in 493 days. He then added four more fifty-plus scores which included a double century in the fourth Test. The string of scores helped him surpass Inzamam-ul-Haq's record of most fifty-plus scores against a single opponent in Tests. Smith managed 10 straight such scores starting with his 239 in Perth in Ashes 2017/18.
Smith ended the series with 774 runs at an average of above 110. Following his dismissal by Stuart Broad for 23, Smith received a well-deserved standing ovation from the English crowd.
Watch the video here...
BREAKING: Steve Smith is mortal.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) September 15, 2019
He was mercilessly booed when he came to England this summer.
He departs to a standing ovation.
What a player & what an extraordinary rehabilitation..
The bat, it transpires, is mightier than the sandpaper. https://t.co/urIodEUSIB
"It was a long 18 months and I have a lot of people to thank," Smith said after he received the Compton–Miller Medal for the second consecutive Ashes series. "I am sure over the next couple of weeks I will look back and reflect. I am proud of my performances ... and to take the urn back home. That was the goal."
England captain Joe Root admitted it had been Smith's Ashes. "He's been a pain, really. He's played extremely well, he's the No.1 batter in the world for a reason," Root said. "In difficult conditions, he's stood up and done something very special and been the difference really."
Australia required a robust effort from the openers, but as usual, David Warner fell to Broad again. Marnus Labuschagne too failed to affect the scoreboard, while Broad changed the momentum in favour of England with the quick dismissal of Smith. Wade's effort to a career-best score did rekindle hopes of a great escape, but failed to carry it with same intensity following his century.