Aussie Skipper Steven Smith Takes Wonder Catch; Gets Yanks Talking About Cricket

Steven Smith got the American sports media fired up with his great catch in Sydney on Sunday.
December 5, 2016, 6:24pm

Ask any Aussie or Kiwi with American mates, getting Yanks enthused about cricket is about is hard a challenge is there is in sports fandom.

The only way to hook 'em? Show them something spectacular.

Australian cricket captain Steven Smith did that on Sunday night, when he, quite incredibly, took a superb one-handed catch to dismiss New Zealand baseman BJ Watling at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Smith, who earlier made 164 - the highest ever one-day score at the SCG, was fielding backward of point when Watling produced a clean late cut, which look destined for an easy boundary.

Yet the Aussie skipper, at full reach to his left, managed to snaffle it and hold on; despite face-planting on the way down. A helluva dismissal, as the Aussies cruised to a 68-run victory in the first one-dayer of their three-match series against the Black Caps.

American media went nutty on the big moment.

Aussie skipper Steven Smith spectacularly caught BJ Watling behind point at the SCG on Sunday. Source: Youtube.

"You may not understand cricket but wow this is a good catch," USA Today's Luke Kerr-Dineen said.

"Right? It happened in a One Day International match between Australia and New Zealand, which Australia cruised to 324-8 (50) to New Zealand 256 (44.2). That may not mean anything to you, and that's fine, because holy cow batman look at this catch."

"Here in the United States we're used to seeing guys named [NFL player] Steve Smith make impressive catches, but nothing compares to what Australian cricketer Steve Smith did on Sunday against New Zealand," Dan Gartland, from Sports Illustrated, said.

"Kiwi batsman BJ Watling fought off a ball that came flying toward Smith, who dove [sic] all-out and grabbed the ball with one hand, despite smashing his face against the turf."

How do we get American sports fans to hang around, after watching one great catch? Take more, I guess.

The Australia vs New Zealand one-day series continues in Canberra this afternoon.