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Smith and Warner return for Australia in World Cup warm-up

The pair were each banned for 12 months for their part in the ball-tampering scandal.

Steve Smith in action against the West Indies (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Steve Smith in action against the West Indies (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Australian duo Steve Smith and David Warner made a low-key return to English soil on Wednesday, as the West Indies posted 229 in the first World Cup warm-up.

The pair, back on international duty after serving one-year bans for their part in the ball-tampering scandal, are expecting a rough ride from fans this summer but had a gentle reintroduction at the Ageas Bowl’s Nursery Ground.

The hastily arranged contest falls outside the tournament’s official preparation period and was deemed a ‘practice session’ by the International Cricket Council. As such only as couple of dozen fans were on hand, none of whom felt compelled to make life difficult from the sidelines.

Listed to bat three and four respectively, the batsmen played peripheral roles in the first innings.

Warner produced an early misfield and Smith turned his arm over with two gentle overs of leg-spin, but the pair enjoyed an otherwise quiet afternoon in the sun.

With Chris Gayle absent at the Caribbean Premier League draft in London, Evin Lewis (50) and Carlos Brathwaite (60) carried the innings, while the Australian attack eased into action.

Nathan Coulter-Nile was the pick in the early stages, taking out Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer with a testing spell, while fellow quick Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins also finished with two apiece.

PA

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