Global T20 Canada

Smith amongst the runs in T20 return

Suspended Australian star makes half-century in Global Canadian T20 tournament return

Cricket Network

29 June 2018, 08:26 AM

Smith strikes half-century in T20 return

Steve Smith got back to what he does best in the opening match of the Canadian Global T20 League - scoring runs.

Suiting up for the Toronto Nationals, the suspended Australian cricketer made 61 off 41 deliveries in an innings that improved the longer it went, shaking off some early rust to finish with eight fours and a six in his first competitive match since the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal. 

Smith's return to the crease was delayed after Toronto won the toss and elected to bowl, with the Aussie star's first taste of action coming in the fourth over after hanging onto a smart catch at long-off to help dismiss West Indies star Chris Gayle for 17.

He followed it up by grassing a skied ball from Evin Lewis several overs later however; the Windies top-order batsman going on to post 96 and power the Knights to a commanding 227-run total.

From there Smith was quickly into the action following the change of innings, coming to the crease in the opening over after an early wicket. 

A scratchy start ensued, before the No.1 Test ranked-batsman rediscovered his timing to find the boundary on nine occasions - including one towering six - as he brought up a half-century off 34 balls.

He was eventually brought undone by Aussie leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed after dancing down the pitch to a leg-break that spun past the bat and had him stumped for 61, the Nationals still 77 runs short with 40 balls remaining.

However there was no cause for concern as New Zealand opener Anton Devcich reeled in the remaining total with relative ease, his unbeaten 92 off 44 seeing the Nationals home by six wickets with four balls to spare, handing the home side a season-opening win.

Speaking after the match, Smith acknowledged he had felt some nerves prior to the start of play. 

"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," he said.

"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."

Global T20 Canada

28 June - 15 July: Click here for the complete schedule

Toronto Nationals: Darren Sammy (c), Steve Smith, Kieron Pollard, Kamran Akmal, Hussain Talat, Rumman Raees, Nikhil Dutta, Johnson Charles, Kesrick Williams, Farhan Malik, Usama Mir, Rohan Mustafa, Nitish Kumar, Nizakat Khan, Mohammad Umair, Anton Devcich, Mohammad Sami, Mohammad Naveed.

Montreal Tigers: Lasith Malinga (c), Sunil Narine, Thisara Perera, Mohammad Hafeez, Denesh Ramdin, Sandeep Lamichhane, Sikandar Raza, Dasun Shanaka, Isuru Udana, George Worker, Najibullah Zadran, Cecil Pervez, Ibrahim Khaleel, Dillon Heyliger, Nicholas Kirton, Rayyan Pathan, Dwayne Smith, Moises Henriques, Peter Siddle, Kevon Cooper.

Edmonton Royals: Shahid Afridi (c), Luke Ronchi, Mohammad Irfan, Sohail Tanvir, Christiaan Jonker, Wayne Parnell, Asif Ali, Hasan Khan, Agha Salman, Shaiman Anwar, Satsimranjit Dhindsa, Ahmed Raza, Abraash Khan, Ammar Khalid, Simon Pervez, Umar Akmal, Farhaan Behardien, Andre Fletcher.

Vancouver Knights: Chris Gayle (c), Andre Russell, Evin Lewis, Tim Southee, Chadwick Walton, Fawad Ahmed, Babar Hayat, Sheldon Cottrell, Saad Bin Zafar, Ruvindu Gunasekera, Srimantha Wijeratne, Kamau Leverock, Steven Jacobs, Salman Nazar, Rassie van der Dussen , Jeremy Gordon.

Winnipeg Hawks: Dwayne Bravo (c), David Miller, David Warner, Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo, Fidel Edwards, Rayad Emrit, Ben McDermott, Ali Khan, Hamza Tariq, Junaid Siddique, Tion Webster, Rizwan Cheema, Hiral Patel, Mark Deyal, Kyle Phillip

Cricket West Indies 'B' Team: Anthony Bramble (c), Fabian Allen, Alick Athanaze, Roland Cato, Justin Greaves, Derval Green, Kavem Hodge, Brandon King, Jeremiah Louis, Obed McCoy, Khary Pierre, Nicholas Pooran, Sherfane Rutherford, Shamar Springer.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia.