David Warner is not always known for being sensible but he carried his bat in an uncharacteristically watchful innings of 89 from 114 balls as Australia kicked off their World Cup campaign in convincing style with a seven- wicket win over Afghanistan.
Zadran said the morale of Afghanistan, playing at just their second World Cup, remained intact despite this heavy defeat as they looked forward to their second match against Sri Lanka on Tuesday. They lost another couple of wickets in quick succession as Zampa removed Rahmat Shah and a freaky run out saw Mohamad Nabi walk back without troubling the Aussies much.
Which all bodes well for Australia, given they boast one of the most impressive fast bowling battalions on the planet. Glenn Maxwell hit the next ball to the boundary to lift Australia to 209-3. As Aaron Finch said at the toss, it was Khawaja just because of his weight of runs this year; and that's fair enough. Mitchell Starc smashed the stumps of Mohammad Shahzad in the very first over and in the next one, Pat Cummins got rid of Hazratullah Zazai, leaving their two attacking outlets back in the dressing room doing nothing.
But there were a number of promising partnerships that showed glimpses of what power their batting may produce in this tournament.
Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi combined to stop the onslaught with a 51-run, third-wicket partnership until legspinner Adam Zampa took a pair of wickets to wrest the control back for Australia.
Khawaja, the world's most prolific ODI batsman this year, won a selection battle with Shaun Marsh and scored 15 at No.3 before falling LBW to Afghan spinner Rashid Khan.
"I'd have batted first too", said Australia captain Aaron Finch.
The comedians and the boo boys were out in force at Nevil Road yesterday, but it was David Warner and Australia who had the last laugh.
"I think they are going to cause some upsets".
Zampa was also full of praise for the way Afghanistan played after they found themselves 77/5 in the 20th over and expects Gulbadin Naib's side to cause a few upsets during the tournament. "So we'll see how he handles that early". "Either way, I think the way that us as players are handling it has been great".
Warner was passed fit to play after recovering from a sore glute. "There's a great energy and a great buzz about this team at the moment".
"If we have the sort of audience that we do backing us in the stands, we take a lot of positive things from that".
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