David Warner announced his international return in style with a sensational half-century as defending champions Australia opened their ICC World Cup 2019 account with an emphatic seven-wicket win over Afghanistan in Bristol on Saturday. Warner, who scored an unbeaten 89 that was studded with eight boundaries, returned to ODI cricket since a year-long ban for his role in the ball-tampering scandal.
The Australian bowler duo comprising of Pat Cummins and Adam Zampa picked up three wickets each in restricting Afghanistan to 207. In the second innings, skipper Aaron Finch got his team off to a fabulous start with a quick-fire half-century, after which his opening partner, David Warner remained unbeaten till the end for a brilliant knock to steer his team to an emphatic win.
He was struggling initially
After the game, Aussie skipper Aaron Finch admitted that Warner was struggling initially at the start, but still he never threw his wicket away. He mentioned that it was really important for the team that Warner gets back into his natural touch. Finch stated that the southpaw hung on the crease till the end and reaped the rewards for it as well.
“Extremely important (on Warner’s return to form). He was struggling initially but he hung on. It was always going to be difficult for the new batsman, so he got stuck in and then got rewarded,” said Aaron Finch during the post-match presentation ceremony.
While chasing a mere target of 208 runs, Aussie skipper Aaron Finch cleared his intentions from the word go, smashing Afghanistan new ball bowler Mujeeb Ur Rahman for 24 runs in his first two overs. He kept on batting in an aggressive and attacking mode during the fabulous opening partnership of 96 runs along with David Warner.
Finch composed an amazing innings of 66 runs which came off just 49 balls and included six fours and four sixes before getting dismissed by his counterpart, Gulbadin Naib, in the 17th over, however, before getting out, he had already done his job.
“Yeah, it felt good to get some runs and that was probably a ball that I was waiting for, hence got a bit frustrated,” Finch mentioned.
“There’s always a bit of nerves. Guys have been building up for this since a month now. Good to get a win and to get the on-field nerves away. Wickets in the Powerplay are key for any side. Got a couple early and then they played well actually. A run out and a couple of wickets helped. Did lose it a bit at the end but overall, we did well,” the Australian captain concluded.