David Warner hits unbeaten 89 as Australia beat Afghanistan

He and Najibullah Zadran took the challenge to the Aussies and smacked them around.

New Zealand also opened their World Cup campaign with a dominant 10-wicket win against Sri Lanka.

A little more than a decade ago, Afghanistan had just won the World Cricket League Divison Five in the British Isles.

But any hopes of an upset were dashed by a stuttering display with the bat before some sloppy fielding and erratic bowling.

Warner and Steve Smith represented their country in an official match on Saturday for the first time since serving 12-month bans for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal that marred Australia's 2018 tour of South Africa.

Rahmat went on to score 43 before he was caught at cover by Steve Smith, who was also returning to global cricket after his involvement in the ball tampering scandal, off the bowling of Zampa.

Two spectators dressed up as sandpaper stood on an overlooking balcony holding a big image of a cricket ball.

"You've got to give it to the Windies, otherwise they just get on the front foot". Rahmat Shah and Mohammad Nabi followed as Afghanistan were struggling at 77/5 in 21st over.

And, for the first time in his 107-match ODI career, he played out two maidens in one innings, both bowled by the energetic headband-wearing seamer Hamid Hassan.

Finch got out after scoring a half-century and Warner got a reprieve after Mohammad Shahzad missed an easy stumping, Australia cruise to victory with seven wickets in hand.

Which all bodes well for Australia, given they boast one of the most impressive fast bowling battalions on the planet.

Just when the duo looked like settling down, leg-spinner Zampa came up with the breakthrough, packing back Shahidi in the 14th over.

"I like that knock", allrounder Marcus Stoinis said.

But the absence of spinner Nathan Lyon from their line-up, as well as Finch opting not to use Glenn Maxwell's off-spin, drew some bemusement from members of the Australian media.

Opting to bat first, Afghanistan got off to a terrible start as opener Mohammad Shahzad was clean bowled by Mitchell Starc for a duck. On the third ball of the contest, Starc, who was also making his comeback in the worldwide arena, got the better of the Afghan star Mohammad Shahzad with an nearly unplayable in-swinger which dislodged the bails of the Afghanistan opener.

Prior to that, they had whitewashed Pakistan 5-0 in Dubai.

But there were a number of promising partnerships that showed glimpses of what power their batting may produce in this tournament.

Sportspeople are expected by the masses to be engineered to cop abuse on the chin, but Zampa admitted the team approached ways to prepare for the abuse while in training camp.

"It was a very important innings".

"We thought positive things in the middle and me and Zadran were able to make a 90-run partnership".

Warner acknowledged the importance of the top order getting runs, with the trend so far in this World Cup being of the quicker bowlers scything through teams. "For us as batters, it's about holding our nerve".


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