The storyline was supposed to be about Pat Cummins’ debut as captain for NSW.
Instead Steve Smith stole the show in the only way he knows how with a century against Victoria in the Test star’s first bat since the series against India ended last month.
Smith, who was crowned Australian ODI Player of the Year and the Allan Border Medallist last week, was out in the middle in the first over at North Sydney Oval as the domestic one-day competition began.
In his first match for NSW since last summer, Smith brought up his century off just 114 balls.
Smith was finally out for 123, after smashing Test quick James Pattinson for two sixes and a four in the 49th over, finishing with nine fours and six sixes.
Cummins also made a special cameo with the bat, hitting three sixes himself in a 30-ball innings of 49 to get NSW to 9-318 after 50 overs.
Smith’s innings came on the back of dual 100s for Australia against India in the ODI series last November, a run spree which helped him clinch the ODI player of the year award.
The postponement of the Test series in South Africa has been a boost for the domestic competition with all national players now available to represent their states.
Smith was playing in a NSW team captained by Pat Cummins, with Test spinner Nathan Lyon also in the line-up.
But fast bowlers Mitch Starc and Josh Hazlewood were rested ahead of a Sheffield Shield clash against the Vics starting on Wednesday.
Test opener David Warner’s return remains under a cloud as he continues to recover from the groin injury which limited him to two Tests against India.
First-gamer Ollie Davies also continued the form which earned the rising start a Big Bash reputation for smashing sixes, clearing the ropes three times in lightning innings of 57 from 41 balls.