Smith hundred sets up Australia warm-up win over England

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SOUTHAMPTON (DNA) – Steve Smith ignored the jeers of the crowd to mark his first match against England since a ball-tampering ban with a century that set up Australia’s 12-run win in a World Cup warm-up clash at Southampton on Saturday.Smith’s 116 was the centrepiece of world champions Australia’s 297 for nine.A target of 298 proved just beyond England, without four first-choice players including captain Eoin Morgan and fellow batsman Joe Root, as the World Cup hosts and favourites were dismissed for 285 with three balls left.

“I’m pretty chilled, everyone’s entitled to their opinion,” Smith told Sky Sports during the innings break when asked about the crowd’s taunts.

“I’m just happy to be back playing. Fortunately, I was able to contribute today and hopefully I can take this form into the World Cup.”

Afterwards, Australia captain Aaron Finch said: “Overall the way we batted was a good effort. I thought Steve Smith played a really impressive knock.”

Smith and David Warner only returned to international duty earlier this month after they both completed year-long suspensions for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

The disgraced duo’s first match in England this tour was a hastily arranged, unofficial warm-up match against the West Indies on the nursery ground at Southampton on Wednesday.

But that fixture was played in front of fewer than 30 spectators whereas there were several thousand in the main arena on Saturday for the first of several Anglo-Australian clashes in a season featuring both the World Cup and a five-Test Ashes series.

Warner was booed first by spectators on Saturday when he walked out to open with Finch after Australia lost the toss.