Smith guides NSW home despite Ferguson ton
New South Wales 8 for 461 dec and 2 for 91 (Smith 46*) beat South Australia 188 and 362 (Ferguson 131, Christian 106, Smith 4-112, Hauritz 3-62) by 8 wickets
On the day he was guaranteed a place in the Perth Test, Steven Smith guided New South Wales to victory with a solid all-round performance against South Australia at the SCG. Smith took 4 for 112 and then struck an unbeaten 46 to help the Blues to an eight-wicket win, after Callum Ferguson and Daniel Christian fought hard for the Redbacks with twin centuries.
Smith has been named in Australia's 12-man squad for Perth, and the balance of the side means he must play in place of the axed Marcus North. The Blues were only chasing 90 for victory, but Smith's not-out innings will give him a confidence boost after he won a Test place ahead of several other contenders including his team-mate Usman Khawaja, who was unbeaten on 35 when the Blues reached their goal.
Smith had grabbed two wickets on the final day, including the key removal of another Test candidate, Ferguson, who scored 131. Ferguson has two centuries from three Sheffield Shield games this summer and he put together an outstanding 196-run stand with Christian to give the Redbacks hope of salvaging a draw.
However, when Christian was lbw to Nathan Hauritz for 106, it sparked a gradual decline for South Australia. Hauritz ended up with a tidy 3 for 62 from 20.1 overs, which was to help New South Wales to victory but not enough for him to win back his place in the Test side.