Reigning Champions Australia started their World Cup campaign on a perfect note with a seven-wicket win over Afghanistan in the fourth game played at Country Ground in Bristol.Pat Cummins and co. bowled well to dismiss Afghanistan for 207 runs. In reply, swashbuckling opener David Warner smashed an unbeaten 83 runs to steer his side to a comfortable win. Left-hander produced a measured innings in his comeback game for Australia.
Chasing 208 runs to win, Captain Aaron Finch and David Warner got Australia off to a flying start. Finch was the aggressor and decided to play his shots in the initial Powerplay overs. He certainly set the tone for the innings and brought up his half-century in 40 balls.
Captain Gulbadin Naib came into the attack and dismissed Finch in the 17th over. He scored 66 off 49 balls with the help of six fours and four sixes. Warner had slice of luck going his way as Mohammad Shahzad missed a stumping opportunity.
The 32-year old produced a composed innings and brought up his half-century in 74 balls. Usman Khuwaja was dismissed by leg-spinner Rashid to see Australia lose their second wicket with 156 runs on the board.
Steven Smith was dismissed while trying to go for a big shot off the bowling of Mujeeb ur Rahman. However, Warner remained till end and saw Australia complete the chase in the 35th over of the innings.
Pat Cummins, David Warner and Adam Zampa delivered splendid performances to see Australia canter to a comfortable win.
Earlier in the day, Afghanistan Skipper Gulbadin Naib won the toss and elected to bat first. The side got off to worse possible start as opening duo of Mohammad Shahzad and Hazratullah Zazai perished for ducks.
Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi put on a useful partnership to lead the recovery for Afghanistan after the loss of two early wickets. Shah scored 43 off 60 balls with the help of six boundaries. Leg-spinner Adam Zampa dismissed Shah and Shahidi in a space of few overs to see Afghanistan in a spot of bother.
Captain Gulbadin Naib, Najibullah Zadran and Rashid Khan chipped in with crucial scores to see Afghanistan push their sore beyond the 200-run mark. Najibullah was the top-scorer for Afghanistan in this game and scored 51 off 49 balls with the help of seven fours and two sixes.
For Australia, pace bowler Pat Cummins and leg-spinner Adam Zampa bowled well and picked up three wickets apiece. Mitchell Starc and Marcus Stoinis also picked up crucial wickets for the side.