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Friday Fights | The Big ODI Fight - Steven Smith vs Faf du Plessis

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Who will edge?

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Friday Fights | The Big ODI Fight - Steven Smith vs Faf du Plessis

Two of the world's most dominating batsmen, one who has moved his way from down the order to the top and the other who has started from the top and only moved upwards in terms of performance. However, only one can walk away as the winner tonight - will it be Steve Smith or Faf du Plessis?

Let’s put it straight into context, these two are known largely for their extraordinary red-ball performances but are only given a meander credit when it comes to the ODI format of the game. Today, they have an opportunity to stun you all and prove that their ODI numbers are better than what you had anticipated. However, it is not about just you guys. This bout, this ring is all about them. 

For Australia, Steve Smith has been a pillar of strength in recent times, moreso helping the team rebuild in the middle-overs. On the other hand, there is Faf du Plessis, who was the pillar of South Africa’s batting order, till the day Quinton de Kock picked up the mantle. 

There we are, sorry for the delay, let the battle begin!

ROUND 1 -> CAREER AVERAGE: ITS FAF TIME

There we have it, first round and it’s set off in loose, with both of them snuggling into position. From the first round, it is almost certain that we would figure out how the rest of the contest is going to be - would it be a one-sided contest? Faf has his right hand all over the place but what have we just seen???? It's the Proteas man who lands the first blow, with an average of 47.47 compared to Smith’s 42.46

Steven Smith - 9  Faf du Plessis - 10

ROUND 2 -> AVERAGE IN FOREIGN CONDITIONS: FAFQUAKE IN THE RING

You have heard of earthquakes, haven’t you? But have you heard of the Fafquake? This is the part where the Proteas man, the top-order batsman, comes out snarling and takes out the opponent just like how he takes out the opposition bowling attack. With a difference of ten runs in between them, all that Smith could do is hide and fear for his life as Du Plessis is clearly running away with the contest 

Steven Smith - 8  Faf du Plessis - 10

ROUND 3 -> AVERAGE IN HOME CONDITIONS: HOLD ON! SMITH’S BACK

Sorry for stopping you all in your tracks and celebration, the fight isn’t clearly over as the Australian, the man possessed, comes back into the contest with an uppercut never seen before, as flashy as some of his strokes. And in familiar conditions at home, there can only be one winner, let’s go! Smith’s average of 52.4 certainly triumphs Faf’s 46.69, a royal victory for the Aussie in this round. 

Steven Smith - 10  Faf du Plessis - 8

ROUND 4-> AVERAGE IN WORLD CUPS: A PROTEAS RISE

When it’s about the World Cup, all we can ever think about is how the Australian top-order batsman helped Michael Clarke sign off on a high with a World Cup win in 2015. On the other hand, we have Faf du Plessis! There is something about the Proteas performing well in terms of statistics in the World Cup and Faf is no different! A staggering average of 57.87 helps him knock the man from Sydney, who could only reach an average of 46.33. 

Steven Smith - 8  Faf du Plessis - 10

ROUND 5-> STRIKE RATE: SO CLOSE YET SO FAR FOR SMITH

This was so so close, freaking hell of a boxing contest on our hands here and all you virtual fans have already gone mad, we can see that! On the other hand, Faf has a unique opportunity to preserve the lead with an 88.6 strike-rate over Smith’s 86.67 and not let it slip, something his seniors have not done in this competition thus far! 

Steven Smith - 9  Faf du Plessis - 10

ROUND 6-> CONVERSION RATE: NEVER RULE OUT SMITH!

Oh my word, I take my word back, Smith knows what to do, he is pacing this bout just like how MS Dhoni would pace his innings, at least prior to 2019, folks! Did you know that Smith converts 26.47% of his fifties into a century? Me neither but today is a good day for all of us to get educated and certainly one guy has got enough education is Faf! The Australian throws a punch which catches the Protean off-guard but really whose fault is it to not have predicted this?

Steven Smith - 10  Faf du Plessis - 9

ROUND 7 -> AVERAGE IN SUCCESSFUL CHASES: DU PLESSIS SAYS NO CHANCE

If there was ever a contest for eating up your own words, I would definitely lose and so would all of you. This contest is a real seesaw, you just can’t make up your mind who is going to walk away as the winner here. Du Plessis jabs with an average of 60.36, whilst the former Australian skipper could only manage 58. Sorry Mr.Smith, this is another ‘L’ for you here!

Steven Smith - 9  Faf du Plessis - 10

ROUND 8 -> % OF 50s IN WINNING CAUSES: 65.71 FREAKIN PERCENTAGE

It might clearly be more than what all of us managed to get during our board days but this contest surely has heated up and is on the verge of coming to a grandstand finish. But grandstand for who? Oh well, I’m no astrologer to predict the end of this bout but what I can say is that this round has been absolutely dominated by none other than Faf du Plessis, who has an upper-hand over the Australian competitor. 

Steven Smith - 9  Faf du Plessis - 10

ROUND 9 -> STRIKE RATE IN SUCCESSFUL CHASES: OH FAF, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE

To be really honest, I was so so excited for this contest, and somewhere down the line I thought that Steve Smith might have an edge over Faf but when reality kicks in, there is no escape. They know that this is a contest waiting to be won and the Faf-o-pedias have all gone excited and mad. How can you have a strike rate of 88.24 in winning causes? Just how Faf?

Steven Smith - 9  Faf du Plessis - 10

ROUND 10 -> 100s IN WINNING CAUSE: SMITH!!!

Faf comes into this round on the back of three exciting rounds of wins but can he hold on? Smith is really on the stronghold in this round, all the conversations are done through their eyes. Of course the man who’s reaction time and speed are well-known in the world of cricket. Not Faf, guys, but Smith, who takes away this round with 30.76% to the Protean's 16.66%. 

Steven Smith - 10  Faf du Plessis - 8

FINAL ROUND -> 50s WITH STRIKE RATE OVER 120: WHO’S THE WINNER?

Welcome to all of you, who waited for this ending moment. Thanks for showing incredible patience. The two boxers in the middle have been battered but none has broken down yet. There they go at it again, the movement, the sudden movement, unpredictable and unprecedented from Faf makes the audience go up in roar but why? Cause he has landed the punch, is it the million-dollar punch that we are talking about?

Steven Smith - 10  Faf du Plessis - 9

WINNER BY UNANIMOUS DECISION - FAF DU PLESSIS

FINAL SCORE: 101-104

There we have it, after so much drama, excitement and of course, 11 rounds of boxing later, we finally have the winner. It was always meant for Faf du Plessis to knock Steve Smith out but the manner in which he did was just sublime and outright fantabulous. It was a tough tough boxing contest but the environment in itself was electric, with a lot of cheers here and there. That’s all we have for today, stay tuned and buy your tickets for the next game of boxing, please! In the end, I would only like to say, the real winner is cricket, oh sorry, boxing! 

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