Cricket Article

Warner stars as Australia defeats Afghanistan

Warner stars as Australia defeats Afghanistan Photo: TT
Steve Smith of Australia and David Warner of Australia during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 match between Afghanistan and Australia at the Bristol County Ground, Bristol Afghanistan v Australia, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 - 01 Jun 2019

David Warner marked his return from international exile with a Player of the Match display as Australia defeated Afghanistan by seven wickets in their 2019 Cricket World Cup opener in Bristol on Saturday.

Warner was booed by the Bristol crowd but blazed 89* from 114 balls as the Aussies easily chased down Afghanistan’s score of 207 inside 35 overs.

Afghanistan worked hard to reach 200, having been reduced to 5-77 after early wickets from Mitchell Starc, Patrick Cummins and Adam Zampa.

Najibullah Zadran top scored with 51, combining well with captain Gulbadin Naib (31) but both lost their wickets at a crucial point with plenty of overs left.

Cummins finished with 3-40 and Zampa 3-60, while Marcus Stoinis claimed the two important wickets of Najibullah and Gulbadin to take 2-37.

In reply, Warner and Aaron Finch (66) combined for a 96-run opening partnership to settle any nerves in the chase.

Steven Smith, also returning to senior international action after his one-year ban and also booed, only managed 18 as Australia cruised home.

Warner, who started slowly, said: “I think it was just nerves for getting back in the camp and getting back into the full intensity of training. I got a lot more relaxed when Finchy started going.

“The way that I started out there, playing Twenty20 cricket over the last 12-14 months hasn’t really moved my feet at all.

“To get in my rhythm out there and start moving in the right direction was great. For us, it was all about getting past this first victory and moving on to the West Indies.”

Bangladesh takes on South Africa in Sunday’s action at the Oval in London.

Australia are next in action against the West Indies on Thursday at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer
@bensomerford Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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