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Cricket World Cup matchday three: Warner makes his mark for Australia

The defending champions opened their campaign with a comfortable win over Afghanistan.

Australia’s David Warner shakes hands with Afghanistan’s Aftab Alam at the end of the match (Mark Kerton/PA)
Australia’s David Warner shakes hands with Afghanistan’s Aftab Alam at the end of the match (Mark Kerton/PA)

Australia started the defence of their World Cup crown with a seven-wicket victory over Afghanistan in Bristol courtesy of a measured 89 not out off 114 balls from David Warner.

Fifteen months on from the fateful ball-tampering scandal, Warner and Steve Smith made their competitive international comebacks as Australia overhauled Afghanistan’s 207 all out with 15.1 overs to spare.

Across the River Severn in Cardiff, New Zealand, beaten finalists four years ago, also got off to a flyer after thrashing Sri Lanka by 10 wickets.

Tweet of the day

The man of the moment. Warner is known for his bullish and even fearless approach to batting but there was an air of responsibility in the manner in which he refused to take the attack to Afghanistan’s bowlers. Opening partner Aaron Finch instead took up the mantle with 66 from 49 balls but even the departure of the captain refused to sway Warner, who stuck to his task manfully to get the reigning champions over the line.

World Cup snapshot

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Australia’s David Warner raises his bat after reaching his half century (Mark Kerton/PA)

Tournament tracker

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Cricket World Cup: key statistics so far. See story CRICKET WorldCup Wrap. Editable versions of this graphic are available via PA Graphics or your account manager. Infographic by PA Graphics

Quote of the day

The way they've been handling themselves has been great. It's the same for all of us. Personally I don't even hear the crowd, to be honest. If you can block it out, you don't really hear it and I think the guys are just handling themselves really well. Adam Zampa

The leg-spinner was asked whether the boos that have routinely greeted Warner and Smith since arriving on these shores spur on the pair. While Warner stood out against Afghanistan, Smith struck a century in a warm-up against England last week.

Stat watch

Karunaratne had played only one one-day international since March 2015 but he was head and shoulders the best Sri Lankan batsman on display in the Welsh capital. Sri Lanka delivered an abject performance as they were rolled out for 136 with more than 20 overs unused. The total was put into context by Martin Guptill and Colin Munro overhauling Sri Lanka’s efforts in only 16.1 overs.

Top shot

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Martin Guptill steered New Zealand to a one-sided victory (Nigel French/PA)

Guptill thrilled those in attendance when he shovelled Jeevan Mendis over the long-on boundary and out of Sophia Gardens. It was the Kiwi opener’s second maximum en route to 73 not out from only 51 balls. Opening partner Munro proved more than a capable foil with 58 from 47 balls as the Kiwis sauntered to victory.

Best ball

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Australia’s Mitchell Starc (centre) celebrates taking the wicket of Afghanistan’s Mohammad Shahzad (Mark Kerton/PA)

Afghanistan were up against it when Mitchell Starc castled Mohammad Shahzad in the first over. It was a vintage delivery, tailing back into the right-hander a touch and pitching on a fullish length to leave Afghanistan’s all-time leading one-day international run-scorer groping at thin air. It proved his only breakthrough, though, with Pat Cummins and Adam Zampa each taking three wickets for Australia.

What’s next?

June 2: South Africa v Bangladesh at the Oval.

Table

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Cricket World Cup table. See story CRICKET WorldCup Wrap. Editable versions of this graphic are available via PA Graphics or your account manager. Infographic by PA Graphics

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