Australia made light work of Afghanistan in their first World Cup match, beating the Asian minnows by seven wickets in Bristol. Set 208 to win, the Baggy Greens got home with the loss of just three wickets and with more than 15 overs to spare.
Afghanistan opted to bat first but both openers failed to trouble the scorers as Mohammad Shahzad lasted three balls for his duck and Hazratullah Zazai was out second ball. Rahmat Shah steadied the ship with 43 while Hashmatullah Shahidi chipped in with 18 but it was the batsmen lower down the order that gave the Afghan attack something to bowl at.
Captain Gulbadin Naib made 31 while Rashid Khan hit 27 but Najibullah Zadran’s rapid 51 was the standout effort. Skipper Aaron Finch gave the men from Down Under a strong start, hitting four sixes in his 66, while David Warner finished unbeaten on 89 as the Aussies ended on 209-3 from 34.5 overs.
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