Sandpaper for sale: Steve Smith gets booed in his 1st match in South Africa since 2018 scandal

South Africa vs Australia 1st T20I: While Australia romped to an 107-run win over the hosts on Friday, star batsman Steve Smith had to face the wrath of the crowd when he tried to collect 4 runs off a Dale Steyn ‘dead-ball’.

Steve Smith was reminded about his 2018 ordeal on his 1st match in South Africa in 2 years

Steve Smith was reminded about his 2018 ordeal on his 1st match in South Africa in 2 years (AP)


  • Steve Smith on Friday top-scored for Australia in their 107-run win vs South Africa in the 1st T20I
  • Smith was booed by some spectators after he tried to score off a dead-ball
  • David Warner couldn’t do much on his return to SA as he was out for just 4

Steve Smith top-scored for Australia with 45 from 32 balls on his return to South Africa for the first time since the Sandpapergate’ scandal of March 2018, after which he was banned for a year by Cricket Australia along with David Warner. However, the strong South Africa crowd assembled at the Wanderers wasn’t as brutal as the ex-captain might have expected.

But Smith’s detractors got their chance to get back at him when he tried to collect four runs off a Dale Steyn delivery which bounced twice before reaching his bat. Fans who were ready with their signs and placards calling out Smith latched on to the moment even though Smith shrugged off the incident.

Smith had managed to get a ball from Steyn across the ropes even after he had to charge towards it only managing to hit it after a couple of bounces. But the umpire ruled it a dead-ball due to Steyn having released the ball unintentionally after clipping his head midway through his bowling action.

The Bull Ring did not take too kindly to at all and booed the right-hander who was caught reacting with a shoulder shrug after the umpire’s decision.

“Sandpaper for sale. Pocket-sized for extra discreetness,” read two fans’ signs.

Opener David Warner’s return was not as triumphant as he was out the second ball for four, but Smith and Finch (42 from 27 balls) put on 80 for the second wicket in only eight overs to lay the platform for the impressive score.

Australia off-spinner Ashton Agar then took a career-best 5 for 24, including a hat-trick, as they thrashed hosts South Africa by a massive 107 runs.

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