Steve Smith brushed aside a predictably-frosty welcome at the Ageas Bowl as his match-winning century guided Australia to a 12-run victory over England as both sides continued their World Cup preparations.
Smith and team-mate David Warner were both taking on their old Ashes rivals for the first time since their year-long ball-tampering bans expired, and – although both men were barracked on their way to the crease – the former was seemingly oblivious as he made an accomplished 116.
While the jeers and accompanying chants of ‘cheat’ were to be expected, Smith may have been surprised to notice both his fifty and his century marked by generous applause from the more moderate members of the 11,500 in attendance.
None of England’s batsmen were able to match his class as they were dismissed for 285 and, although the match goes down as little more than a friendly, they surrendered an undefeated run of seven matches since the start of the summer.
That will not concern the hosts half as much as an injury to Mark Wood though, the seamer struck down with a left foot injury that required scans just 24 hours after captain Eoin Morgan fractured a finger.
Wood began brightly for England, serving notice of his express pace before hitting the jackpot with a slower ball that Aaron Finch lobbed to mid-on.
Wood was off the field soon after, as was his substitute Jofra Archer. He lasted less than an over before heading off in apparent discomfort, though he re-emerged after a break and was later added into the batting line-up.
With England’s numbers running thin, the call went out to assistant coach Paul Collingwood.