BRISTOL, England (Reuters) – Australia’s Pat Cummins and Adam Zampa took three wickets each as Afghanistan were bowled out for 207 in 39 overs in their World Cup opener at Bristol’s County Ground on Saturday.
Paceman Cummins finished with figures of 3-40 and leg spinner Zampa took 3-60 as the holders kept the brakes on their inexperienced but flamboyant opponents.
Afghanistan lost both of their openers in the first two overs but rallied with a half century from captain Najibullah Zadran and an aggressive cameo from Rashid Khan to creep over the 200-run mark.
Rahmat Shah steadied the innings with a 43-run knock after coming in at No. 3, but it was Najibullah and Gulbadin Naib who gave the Afghanis hope of a competitive total with a swashbuckllng 83-run sixth-wicket partnership off only 75 balls.
Najibullah, who won the toss and elected to bat, scored 51 off 49 balls while Gulbadin hit 31 off 33.
Rashid Khan also flashed his bat but his knock of 27 runs off 11 balls ended when Zampa trapped him leg before wicket.
(Writing by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Hugh Lawson)