Warner and Smith return in Australian win

Warner and Smith return in Australian win

Australia captain Aaron Finch took the lead as Australia chased down a modest target of 208, scoring 66 off 49 balls before becoming the first wicket to fall.

A full 434 days after Warner and Steve Smith presided over the Cape Town sandpaper plot, both men were back in polite society, marking their first official post-ban global with an easy win over Afghanistan.

But against Afghanistan, in the biggest match Warner has played since being rubbed out of cricket for 12 months for his role in last year's ball-tampering affair, we were witness to a different beast entirely.

Smith received a hostile reception from the crowd during his century against England in the World Cup warm-up match in Southampton last Saturday and that theme continued, if less pointedly, when he came out to bat alongside Warner in the closing stages.

As if keen to show the world he has changed, Warner took a while to get going.


Warner's runs didn't come at his usual rapid rate, but it didn't need to while Finch worked his magic at the other end.

Shahzad's opening partner, Hazratullah Zazai, failed to trouble the scorers as well as he was caught behind off the bowling of Pat Cummins.

Steve Smith was nearly there at the end too, caught for 18 with just three runs required as the defending champions began their World Cup campaign with a seven- wicket win in Bristol.

Zampa, 27, heaped praises on Afghanistan's bowling attack and said that the team is capable of defending small totals only due to their bowlers.

Afghanistan will face Sri Lanka in their second match of the tournament at Sophia Gardens. "Either way, I think the way that us as players are handling it has been great". Rahmat Shah and Mohammad Nabi followed as Afghanistan were struggling at 77/5 in 21st over.


Earlier, Najibullah Zadran's 49-ball half-century and 83-run, sixth-wicket stand with skipper Gulbadin Naib helped Afghanistan recover to post 207 after losing both openers for ducks.

He ended a 51-run third wicket partnership between Hashmatullah Shahidi and Rahmat Shah, sliding one past a charging Shahidi's bat to have him stumped before Rahmat fell to the legspinner at cover.

Adam Zampa took wickets but leaked runs against Afghanistan.

Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa was all praise for Afghanistan cricket team and said that Afghanistan will cause some upsets in the ongoing World Cup.

Najibullah completed a fifty and Rashid Khan starred with a stellar cameo, which saw Afghanistan breach the 200-mark and get to 205 before getting bowled out.


"I have a lot of respect for Warner and Smith and we can't do anything about the crowd's reaction to them".

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