Smith, Warner struggle in head-to-head clash
STEVE Smith and David Warner both fizzled in their highly-anticipated match-up as serious questions emerged about the safety of the Toronto pitch.
Warner was run-out for four - his third low score of the fledging Canadian T20 tournament - but Smith fell victim to a nasty spell of fast bowling that fed off the up and down nature of a misbehaving wicket.
There are still two weeks of matches to be played on the one square, and organisers will have hard time keeping the torrid conditions for batting in check.
Warner experienced the unpredictable bounce in his first two dismissals of the tournament but the conditions were at their worst this morning when Smith copped a couple of vipers ripping up at his gloves and ultimately couldn't keep one down and was caught in the gully for three runs.
Smith was one of three Toronto Nationals wickets to fall in the space of seven balls and that was the difference as Winnipeg's target of 165 proved more than enough.
Privately, players are saying the pitch is getting dangerous.
Without Warner firing - albeit his run-out was down to brilliant fielding - Dwayne Bravo was the hero for Winnipeg, smashing 41 off 31, including four booming sixes down the ground off a brutal Smith over of leg-spin.
Even winning coach, Waqar Younis of Winnipeg, has concerns about the durability of the pitch but didn't want to be too critical of organisers.
"This is our first tournament here and I don't know about the weather (leading up to the tournament), it's not been good," said Younis.
"Hopefully it will get better. I hope so. But yeah, it's playing different and difficult.
"It's not easy but if you look at the scores, 170, 180 you can chase quite comfortably so it can't be that bad. Yes, today the odd ball was jumping around and the cutters were more useful, but you've got to be smart as a team."
Smith suffered from a shoulder problem after bowling and received regular treatment from the team physio on the boundary.
Winnipeg now hold a 2-1 record, while Smith's Toronto side are 1-2.