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Steve Smith stars in return to cricket

Cricket

Steve Smith cracked a half century and took a superb catch in his return to cricket, while serving a 12-month international and domestic first-class ban for ball tampering.

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The former Australian skipper made 61 off 41 balls to lead the Toronto Nationals to a six-wicket win over the Vancouver Knights at the inaugural Global T20 Canada league in Toronto on Thursday (Friday AEST).

Smith returned to the crease after a three-month hiatus since being banned by Cricket Australia.

He did not disappoint.

The 29-year-old 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.”

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.

– AAP

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