• Aussies win in Warner, Smith’s ODI return

    Batsman David Warner’s first ODI half-century since October 2017 marked Australia’s seven-wicket victory over Afghanistan in Saturday’s World Cup fixture in Bristol.

    • Smith and Warner’s first ODI in 16 months
    • Duo weathered predictable jeers from crowd
    • Both Afghanistan openers fell for zero

    Warner, who recently returned from an international cricket suspension after last year’s involvement in the ball-tampering saga that marred Australia’s Test tour of South Africa, welcomed a first ODI in over 16 months.

    The left-hander gathered an 18th and slowest 50 from 74 deliveries – and ended with 89 not out in 114. His stay featured eight fours and no sixes – and ensured the successful pursuit of a 208-run target with 91 balls to spare.

    Warner’s World Cup average against Afghanistan is now a whopping 267, after 2015’s 178 in Perth.

    Former skipper Steven Smith, who served a 12-month ban for the same reason as Warner, also returned to ODI cricket – and endured several jeers and boos from the Bristol crowed. He was dismissed for 18.

    Earlier, Afghanistan struggled to recover from the early losses of Mohammad Shahzad and Hazratullah Zazai for ducks. Fast bowlers Pat Cummins and leg-spinner Adam Zampa shared six wickets.

    Saturday’s first match saw New Zealand trounced Sri Lanka by 10 wickets on the back of half-centuries from opening batsman Martin Guptill and Colin Munro.

    Sunday will see South Africa play Bangladesh at The Oval in London. The Proteas will be without fast bowler Dale Steyn, who has been sidelined by a shoulder injury, while batsman Tamim Iqbal’s participation for Bangladesh remains in the balance.


    Photo: Getty Images

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