David Warner stars as Australia take opening win over Afghanistan



David Warner celebrated his return to global cricket with an unbeaten half-century as Australia kicked off their Cricket World Cup defence with a seven-wicket win over Afghanistan.

Warner, who scored 345 runs at an average of 49.28 in Australia's run to the title four years ago, returned to the national set-up last month after serving a one-year ban for his part in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.

Left-handed Warner opened the batting with captain Aaron Finch in the evening sunshine but it was the skipper who set the tone, reaching his fifty off 40 balls with three sixes.

"I think everyone will walk a bit taller having them in the side". He is desperate to play, he'd love to play like all 15 players would.

David Warner is set to go for a fitness test on 31st May (Friday) and that will decides his availability for the Saturday game against Afghanistan.

As if keen to show the world he has changed, Warner took a while to get going.

Australia's squad: Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

Obviously, it hurts because I have got an emotional attachment, and personal attachment, to our players.

Former Australian paceman Brett Lee expects the pair to make big contributions but has warned they might need thick skin playing in front of the English crowds.

Gulbadin Naib: They are a champion side, so you can't have any mistake against them. "We've talked about it a lot and we can put strategies in place", Langer said. 'That said, when it happens it doesn't make it any easier.

"When you see that happen you feel for them personally". As two of the best at their craft, they will be eager to silence their detractors and, in order to do so, must deal with Afghanistan's impressive spin trio of Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi.

Afghanistan, winners of last year's qualifier and in just their second World Cup appearance, were roared on by enthusiastic and colourful support all around the ground with many neutrals also siding with the relative minnows. They have paid the price for it. "I will be disappointed any day if any cricketer is booed on a cricket ground", Langer said.

"With Warner and Smith, there's probably a few guys they might not get along with, but it doesn't mean they won't play well". But I was more relaxed when Finchy got going, and I started moving my feet in the right direction'.

"It is not the spirit that any of us like to see. We'll have a pretty good idea today, how he moves and how he pulls up in the morning".

While leg-spinner Zampa's 3-60 off eight overs may look good on paper, it was littered with some loose and erratic deliveries.

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