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Smith hits dizzy heights after being laid low by vertigo

SYDNEY: Australia run-machine Steve Smith scored his second successive century against India to give the hosts an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series but the top order batsman said he almost missed Sunday’s match due to a bout of vertigo.

Smith said a team doctor put him through his paces to see if he was fit to take the field at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

“I didn’t know I was playing...” Smith told a Cricket Australia website after collecting his second man-of-the-match award. “I had a really bad dose of vertigo this morning and I was struggling until ... I came down early to have a hit and a bit of a run around.

“The doctor, I think he performed six Epley manoeuvres on me ... and got the crystals out of my ears and I was struggling for a bit.”

There was no sign Smith was in any discomfort when he got to the crease with the 31-year-old reaching his 100 with 62 balls for the second straight match, the third fastest by an Australian behind Glenn Maxwell (51 balls) and James Faulkner (57).

“Just pleased to be able to get out here and play another good innings and help the team,” Smith said.

Team-mate Marnus Labuschagne, Smith’s collaborator in their 136-run partnership, called it one of the best one-day knocks he had ever seen.

“The way he batted yesterday [Sunday] was superb. It almost felt like he didn’t really give an opportunity, didn’t really take a risk,” Labuschagne said in a video call on Monday.

Smith could have reached the 100-mark taking one ball fewer but Labuschagne slipped at the striker’s end and they decided against a second run.

“The boys were asking me was I batting in my runners out there?” said Labuschagne, who scored 70. “That was a bit disappointing from my end. I’ll have to get rid of those shoes and get a brand new set ... for next game.”

Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2020

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