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Afghanistan vs Australia, Match 4, ICC World Cup 2019

  • 02 Jun 2019 12:33:04

Warner got runs. Smith got a hit but fell early. Finch got a half-century. Pacers were excellent and Zampa did his job. Good day overall for Australia.

Afghanistan did well in patches. Rashid hit a few while Najibullah Zadran scored some runs. Openers were poor and the middle-order didn't convert their starts. The bowlers were not effective on a good batting track and it was an easy win for Australia.

Two down

Full and straight from Rashid. Khawaja doesn't connect and is pinged right in front. No doubts there. Plumb and he walks.

Australia need 52 more.

.. and Finch falls

Naib gets him with a cutter. Finch was in that mood where he was trying to smash everything. Has a go at this slower delivery and skews it to the fielder. Out walks Usman Khawaja, who will have to justify his selection over Shaun Marsh. 96 for 1

Finch scores fifty

He started well against a spinner and never looked back. Even Rashid Khan has now gone for 14 runs in his first over, in the process delivering Finch to his fifty. Warner, at the other end, just survived a run out scare and hasn't looked at his best. Hamid Hassan has troubled him. But he's there at least.

Mujeeb with the new ball

So let's call it a trend already. Bombastic opening batsmen staring at you? Start with a spinner. Just that here, unlike how it transpired for Tahir vs Englland, Mujeeb has been hit for 10 runs in the first over. How many overs will Australia take to chase this? We need something special from Rashid Khan if we are to have any other result tonight.

Afghanistan 207 all out.

It wasn't an easy initiation to World Cup 2019 for Afghanistan. Finding it difficult against Australia's pace and bounce in Bristol, they went on to be bowled out for 207 in 38.2 overs but not without a fight, much like we have come to expect from them. Najibullah Zadran scored run-a-ball fifty to revive them from 77 for 5, and Rashid Khan's 11-ball 27 raced the score past 200, giving their host of spinners a shot at defending the score. But Pat Cummins and Adam Zampa were superlative, picking three wickets each to announce Australia's versatility with pace and spin in this tournament. Join us back for their chase!

Head over here to read Adam Zampa's mid-innings interview. He says how Australia's intensity was "lacking in the middle overs"

Rashid, oh Rashid

He's tearing into Australia here. Marcus Stoinis has just been pasted for 21 runs in one over. Two fours, two sixes. And you know what, that's rubbed off on Mujeeb at the other end too. And he's hit Pat Cummins for a few runs in the next over. The show doesn't last for too long but Rashid's 11-ball 27 has raced Afghanistan past 200 here.

Well.. Najibullah also out

He's fallen in the same over, and to short ball. So after a reassuring 83-run partnership, Australia among the wickets again. Marcus Stoinis has done the trick for them. He had bowled his first five over for only 14 runs, and comes back at a time when Najibullah and Naib were going strong. Use the white marker, people. Because Afghanistan might be bundled up sooner than you think.

Fifty for Najibullah, Naib out

Happened one after the other. Najibullah Zadran gets to a fifty (with an edge off Starc over the keeper..) and all of Cardiff celebrated that. There's more Afghanistan here than Australia, clearly. And then Gulbadin Naib falls next ball. Silence. Gets into an awkward shape while playing the pull and falls to a steepler, that Carey catches. How many can Afghanistan get there? They have Rashid Khan at the crease alongside Najibullah, who's "key" as far as cliches go.