Cricket World Cup 2019: David Warner leads Australia’s stroll to seven-wicket victory against Afghanistan

Australia 209-3 def. Afghanistan 207 (38.2 overs) by seven wickets: Australia open their campaign with a routine win

David Charlesworth
Bristol County Ground
Saturday 01 June 2019 19:14
Five batsmen to watch at the 2019 Cricket World Cup

David Warner underpinned Australia‘s seven-wicket victory over Afghanistan in Bristol with a measured 89 not out from 114 balls on his and Steve Smith‘s official international return.

Fifteen months on from the fateful ball-tampering affair, Warner eschewed his characteristic aggressive instincts but his efforts helped Australia negotiate a potentially tricky World Cup opener.

Smith, too, made a telling contribution with a fantastic run out of Mohammad Nabi as Afghanistan succumbed to 207 all out after 38.2 overs, but the former Australia captain was out for 18 with the finishing line in sight.

Smith miscuing Mujeeb Ur Rahman to short third man proved to be the penultimate ball as Glenn Maxwell thumped the spinner for four after his arrival to the crease to wrap up victory with more than 15 overs to spare.

Aaron Finch had threatened to overshadow the competitive comebacks of Warner and Smith with a brutal display of power hitting in his 66 from 49 balls but his dismissal led to his opening partner completing the job.

Warner was booed on his arrival to the crease – as was Smith – and again after reaching his half-century but he refused to be deterred as Australia made an ideal start to the defence of the crown they won on home soil four years ago.

“It was a great win, a good start and now we just have to keep this ball rolling,” Warner said afterwards.

David Warner scores an unbeaten 89

“There were a few nerves getting into the groove and the full intensity of training but I soon relaxed when Finchy got going in the middle.

“I’ve been playing Twenty20 cricket for the past few months and not really moving my feet so it was good to get back into the rhythm.

“It’s about getting this first victory and moving onto the West Indies. There’s a great buzz and energy about this team at present, we’ve got one on the board and we move on.”

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