Afghanistan will cause some upsets: Adam Zampa


The 32-year-old was back for a first official ODI outing after a year-long ban and produced a performance that appeared nearly contrite yet highly effective as Australia began the defence of their World Cup crown with an easy seven-wicket victory over Afghanistan in Bristol.

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.

"It's good to be back and it's a good win for us", said man-of-thee-match Warner at the presentation ceremony.

By far the biggest question facing the Australian team leading into this World Cup was how David Warner and Steve Smith would be in their returns to the national set-up.

In the first match of the day, New Zealand proved to be too strong for the Sri Lankans in a ten-wicket victory at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.

Warner's knock comes in his first worldwide match since his 12-month ban for the ball tampering scandal.

Two rather inventive spectators did catch the eye in the crowd with full-body suits fashioned to look like pieces of sandpaper.

Legspinner Adam Zampa struck in his first over, enticing Shahidi (18) down the wicket and having him neatly stumped by Alex Carey.

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After Finch's departure, Warner took the responsibility and kept on scoring from one end.

"Call it what you want, disrespectful, or just a part of the game".

He went for 22 in one over while all-rounder Marcus Stoinis also came in for some punishment, conceding 21 to Rashid's long-range hitting.

They fought back bravely, with 43 from Rahmat Shah and 51 from Najibullah Zadran, but were still dismissed for 207 with more than 11 overs to spare.

Stoinis managed to pick up a couple of crucial wickets in the middle, including that of Afghanistan top-scorer Najibullah Zadran (51) who put on a unsafe 83-run partnership for the sixth wicket with skipper Gulbadin Naib (31).

Afghanistan had won a crucial toss against Australia in Saturday's encounter but threw away the opportunity as they could only manage 207 runs. "I was a little bit more relaxed when Finchy (Aaron Finch) started going".

Much is being made of Afghanistan's outstanding spin bowling contingent, with Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi all high of the one-day global bowling rankings.

Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib said of Australia: "They are a champion side, so you can't have any mistakes against them". A different David Warner was on show tonight, with him taking the backseat and allowing Finch to express himself. "There's a great buzz about this team at this moment". "So we'll see how he handles that early".