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[Watch] Steve Smith's Opening Woes Continue As He Gets LBW By Matt Henry

Steve Smith's horrendous run as an opener continued in Test cricket (Twotter)Steve Smith's horrendous run as an opener continued in Test cricket (Twotter)

Australian batting stalwart, Steve Smith finds himself in the throes of an unprecedented batting slump as he was sent back to the pavilion after scoring just 9 runs during the second innings of the second Test against New Zealand at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

Stepping into the opener’s shoes post David Warner’s retirement from Test cricket, Smith has yet to find his rhythm at the crease, his recent innings marred by decisions that have left fans and critics scratching their heads in perplexity.

NZ vs AUS: Steve Smith was dismissed cheaply by Matt Henry

The second innings of the match painted a familiar picture of disappointment for Steve Smith. On a day that demanded a fight, he was ensnared by Matt Henry's cunning delivery—a good length ball that snuck in, outfoxing Smith's elaborate shuffle across the wicket.

The ball struck true, and the umpire's finger shot up, sealing Smith's fate. Despite a glimmer of hope as Smith called for a review, the verdict of UltraEdge was as clear as day—no bat involved, with the ball hitting the top of the middle stump.

Steve Smith’s wicket for a paltry 9 off 25 balls added another failure to his ongoing batting woes. In eight innings as an opener in Tests, Smith just has 171 runs to his name at an abysmal average for 28.5 with just one fifty which is far off from his lofty standards.

Earlier in the day, New Zealand, after overcoming a 94-run first-innings deficit, set a challenging target of 279 runs for the Aussies. However, Australia's chase has been anything but smooth sailing. 

The scoreboard paints a grim picture at 34/4 after 14.2 overs, with the top order—including Smith, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, and Cameron Green—back in the pavillion, leaving fans in disbelief.

The responsibility now rests on the shoulders of Travis Head and Mitchell Marsh, who find themselves steering stormy waters with 245 runs still adrift of victory. 

The duo faces the Herculean task of steadying the Australian ship, guiding it toward the safe harbour of a win amidst the tempest stirred by New Zealand's bowling attack.