NSW open Big Bash with victory

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HOBART, Australia (CMC) – Barbadian all-rounder Dwayne Smith and his New South Wales (NSW) opened their campaign in Australia’s Twenty20 Big Bash tournament with a 31-run triumph over Tasmania yesterday.

Electing to bat at the Bellerive Oval, NSW Blues got a robust start from their openers Phillip Hughes and David Warner and posted 194 for four off their 20 overs, and Tasmania replied with 163 all out in 19 overs.

Hughes (71 not out) and Warner (67) compiled a rapid 97-run inside the first seven overs and although the innings lost some momentum after their separation, Moises Henriques smashed a 28-ball 37 to boost the total.

Hughes carried his bat in a pivotal 50-ball innings that contained six fours and one six. Warner blasted six fours and five sixes in his 67 that came off just 24 balls.

Smith fell cheaply, bowled for three by pacer Naved-ul-Hasan, who picked up two for 41.

Tim Paine struck a blistering 48 off 18 balls and with Rhett Lockyear (25), led Tasmania’s run chase, but leg-spinner Steven Smith choked their victory bid with superb returns of four for 13 off four overs.

Dwayne Smith picked up one for 20 off three overs.

There are no games today and the series resumes tomorrow with Tasmania facing the Western Australia Warriors, minus hard-hitting West Indies batsman Chris Gayle.

The big left-hander suffered a side strain during Tuesday’s loss to South Australia and will miss tomorrow’s match.

NSW Blues play their next match on Saturday against Dwayne Bravo’s Victoria Bushrangers.