ICC Cricket World Cup, 2019
Venue: County Ground, Bristol
Date & Time: 01 June 2019
RR: 6 | Australia beat Afghanistan by 7 wickets
So that's that! The end of the first double-header day of the World Cup. Both the Trans-Tasman sides have registered comfortable wins over two Asian sides. A really good start thus for both of last World Cup's finalists. The games roll on and Sunday will see the first match for Bangladesh as they take on South Africa, who will be looking for their first win after they lost against England in the opening fixture. That one will be played at the Oval in London. It will begin at 1030 local (0930 GMT). Join us for the same! Till then, we will bid you goodbye. See you for the next match, cheers!
Australia skipper, Aaron Finch says that there are always a bit of nerves before the first game and that they have been training hard for over a month. He mentions that they have had a long build-up and it is good to get off with a win. He feels that wickets in Powerplays are crucial against any side. Tells that it was a pretty good game all around. The Aussie skipper feels that chances were taken and he also reserves special praise for Smith and Zampa for their performances on the field. Says he felt great on his own knock. Mentions that Warner's knock was really crucial for him as he was struggling early in his innings, but he kept going and did not lose the wicket which was the important part. Admits that it is really important to not get carried away and think about the net run rate before getting into a winning position. States that the opposition have world class spinners and losing wickets early would have been a huge problem so they did not think about going too fast.
Afghanistan skipper, Gulbadin Naib mentions that it was always going to be difficult against Australia as they are a champion side and that they can't have mistakes. He feels that they did not have a good start with the bat and that important batsmen fell early. Also states that they lost their way in the middle as well. About the bowling, the skipper feels in England conditions there is always help for the pacers and praises Hamid Hassan especially. He hopes that upcoming games will see some helpful tracks spin and it goes on to become drier as the tournament progresses.
David Warner is the Man of the Match for his unbeaten 89! He says it is a great win and a brilliant start for the team and wants to keep the ball rolling. Informs that there were a few nerves getting back to full training, but it all went well once Finch got the runs flowing at the start of their innings. States that it was great to get his feet back moving after such a long absence where he had taken an absolute break from training and the game. Feels that for batters on such bowler-friendly wickets, it is important to hold the nerves and just play out the new balls and the first few overs safely. The Aussie opener mentions that the difference between the side of 2015 and now is experience. Informs that there were plenty of guys who had played over 100 games then and now there are only a few but the energy levels in the camp are really high.
Earlier in the day, Afghanistan managed to cross 200, thanks to a few batting sparks and some excellent spirit. It could have been lesser, had the Aussies bowled a bit more consistently but the Men In Blue will be happy with the fight shown. Please stay tuned for the presentation...
207 seemed to be competitive at the innings break but sadly for Afghanistan, there was no competition with the ball. Mujeeb's opening two overs were taken apart and then some poor fielding really let the bowlers down. Hamid Hassan kept Australia under check but could not quite strike. No one else looked even remotely threatening, including Rashid Khan.
Normally, in a run chase, the opening stand sets the base. Finch and Warner's 96-run stand created the platform and then the 60-run stand between Warner and Khawaja killed all hopes of an Afghan win, if there were any. Finch continued his excellent form, scoring his 5th score of 50 or more in his last 6 games while Warner slowly but surely, got amongst the runs.
Professional display of batting by Australia. It would have been so easy to go hammer and tongs and try and win this in a canter but Australia ensured that there was no hara-kiri. Finch went after the bowlers but Warner ensured that he batted till the end. Khawaja and Smith could not quite get going but there was nothing much required out of them.
Glenn Maxwell comes in at number five with 3 runs required!
Rashid Khan to have another go.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman is back into the attack.
Dawlat Zadran returns. 5-0-20-0 so far.
Loud shout for an LBW! Warner is the man in question. He has not been given out. Shahzad indicates gloves. But Rashid insists on the review and Naib takes it. Looks to be glove and this will be a loss of a review for Afghanistan...
Steven Smith walks in at number 4, replacing Khawaja. Hamid Hassan is back on as well. 4-2-10-0 so far.
Rashid Khan comes back on.
FREE HIT CONTINUES...
FREE HIT COMING UP...
Mohammad Nabi returns. 3-0-10-0 so far.
DRINKS BREAK! Australia are well on course to chase this total down and begin their defense on a strong note. Finch continued his great form while Warner has been cautious about his stroke-making. He will probably aim to bat through till the end of the innings.
Usman Khawaja walks out to bat at number 3, replacing his skipper.
Gulbadin Naib brings himself back on now.
Rashid Khan is into the attack.
Huge confusion! Warner did not know where the ball was and had stepped out. Shahzad has removed the bails but was the batsman in just in time? Lets see what the replays say!
Powerplay 2 time! Four fielders can be outside the 30-yard circle till the end of the 40th over now. Meanwhile, time for spin again. Mohammad Nabi comes on to bowl.
The skipper comes on now. Gulbadin Naib to bowl his military medium pace.
FREE HIT TIME! Will Warner open up here?
Dawlat Zadran is the first bowling change for Afghanistan. He replaces Mujeeb.
Hamid Hassan to bowl from the other end with the second new ball.
We are back for the chase. The Afghanistan team is seen on the sidelines in a team talk while they await the Australian openers who then trot in. Aaron Finch and David Warner it will be. Can these two show us some fireworks like how they did when they lit up the last World Cup? They will be up against the spin of Mujeeb Ur Rahman first. 208 to win, who will win? Lets play!!!