ICC World Cup 2019: Match 4, Australia vs Afghanistan, Review – David Warner and Pat Cummins shine as five-time champions start on a winning note

ICC World Cup 2019: Match 4, Australia vs Afghanistan, Review – David Warner and Pat Cummins shine as five-time champions start on a winning note

David Warner remained unbeaten on 89 off 114 deliveries, which saw him score 8 boundaries.

David Warner and Steve Smith
David Warner and Steve Smith. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

It wasn’t precisely smooth sailing, but the experience Australia has in dealing with certain intricate situations got them over the line with ease. David Warner and Aaron Finch smacked half-centuries which saw an Asian side getting hammered for the third game in a row.

Afghanistan had won the toss earlier and they decided to bat first. The memories of their previous encounter might’ve played a role in that decision, which didn’t prove to be a great one initially. 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.

Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi stitched a very crucial partnership at this juncture. They added 51 runs before Shahidi was outfoxed by Adam Zampa. They lost another couple of wickets in quick succession as Zampa removed Rahmat Shah and a bizarre run out saw Mohamad Nabi walk back without troubling the Aussies much.

At 77/5, it seemed like they’re following the path of Pakistan and Sri Lanka. But this new side under Gulbadin Naib also has an aggressive side to it and displayed good glimpses of it in this game. He and Najibullah Zadran took the challenge to the Aussies and smacked them around. After Naib was dismissed for a quickfire 31, Najibullah continued the onslaught alongside Rashid Khan.

Najibullah completed a fifty and Rashid Khan starred with a stellar cameo, which saw Afghanistan breach the 200-mark and get to 205 before getting bowled out. Adam Zampa and Pat Cummins picked three wickets each with all-rounder Stoinis chipping in with a couple.

Warner announces comeback in style

Aaron Finch continued his brilliant touch in this format and was in the mood to dismantle the bowlers yet again. A different David Warner was on show tonight, with him taking the backseat and allowing Finch to express himself. The skipper’s golden touch had another fifty to boast about as he got to the landmark right after the powerplay.

The duo added 96 runs for the first wicket before Finch miscued a slower delivery off his opposite number and was caught at deep covers. Warner and Khawaja kept the scorecard ticking and added a 60-run stand for the second wicket, which saw the returning warrior take complete charge with Khawaja playing the second fiddle.

David Warner completed his half-century and added another 49-run partnership with Steve Smith, which saw Australia chase the 206-run total with 15 overs remaining. David Warner remained unbeaten on 89 off 114 deliveries, which saw him score 8 boundaries. Finch too had a great outing, having smashed a 49-ball 66.

Brief Scores: Afghanistan 207 in 38.2 overs (Najibullah Zadra 51, Rahmat Shah 43; Pat Cummins 3/40) lost to Australia 209/3 in 34.5 overs (David Warner 89 n.o, Aaron Finch 66; Gulbadin Naib 1/32).

Result: Australia won by 7 wickets.

Man of the Match: David Warner.