David Warner has been bowled for one run and former Australian skipper Steve Smith has cracked a half century on their return to cricket in Canada, while both serving a 12-month international and domestic first-class ban for ball tampering.
Opening the batting for the Winnipeg Hawks at the inaugural Global T20 Canada league on Friday, Warner faced just two balls from Montreal’s Lasith Malinga.
On the first ball of the second over, Warner tried a defensive shot but was bowled by former Sri Lanka T20 captain Malinga on a dodgy-looking wicket at Maple Leaf Cricket Club – 50 kilometres north of Toronto.
Warner’s return to competitive cricket comes in stark contrast to his former Test captain Steve Smith, who made 61 off 41 balls and took a superb catch during the opening match of the fledgling Canadian league on Friday (Thursday local time), taking the Toronto Nationals to a six-wicket win over the Vancouver Knights.
Smith, 29, was also slapped with a one-year ban by Cricket Australia for his role alongside Warner and Cameron Bancroft in the “sandpaper gate” scandal that unfolded during the Test series against South Africa in March.
Smith took just 34 balls to bring up his 50 and wowed fans at the Maple Leaf Cricket Club with eight fours and a six, before being stumped off a superb delivery from compatriot Fawad Ahmed (1-35).
“When I saw the wicket I thought, today will be interesting,” said Smith.
“I had a bit of luck today, didn’t feel as good as I have in the past but it’s nice to score runs when you’re not feeling good so hopefully there are positive signs.
“Chasing (227) you need a lot to go right and that (win) is a great way to start the tournament.”
It was great being back on the field yesterday and helping Toronto to a first up win. Thanks everyone for your support it’s really appreciated. Looking forward to the rest of the… https://t.co/BgRHxXtyOn
— Steve Smith (@stevesmith49) June 29, 2018
Earlier, Smith took a superb catch to dismiss T20 superstar Chris Gayle but dropped a high ball to allow Vancouver’s Evin Lewis reach his 50.
“I normally don’t get real nervous before I play but if I’m being honest I was a little bit nervous today, three months off and I hadn’t hit that many balls.”
Chasing 227, Toronto reached their target with six wickets to spare.
New Zealander Anton Devcich top scored with an unbeaten 92, which included 10 fours and six sixes.