Aaron Finch David Warmer, Finch Warner, Finch Warner World Cup
Finch and Warner forged 96 runs for the opening wicket before the captain was dismissed by his counterpart Gulbadin Naib in the 17th over. @ Twitter

Captain Aaron Finch admitted that his senior team-mate David Warner, who marked his return to international cricket with a match-winning 89*, was struggling initially but heaped praise on his determination to hang on which paved off as the southpaw guided Australia to a seven-wicket victory over Afghanistan in the ICC World Cup 2019 at County Ground in Bristol on Saturday.

The five-time champions bowled Afghanistan out for 207 in 38.2 overs on a warm day in Bristol and then made steady progress, reaching their target with more than 15 overs to spare, with Warner 89 not out.

“Extremely important (on Warner’s return to form). He was struggling initially but he hung on. It was always going to be difficult for the new batsman, so he got stuck in and then got rewarded,” Finch said at the post-match ceremony.

Finch and Warner forged 96 runs for the opening wicket before the captain was dismissed by his counterpart Gulbadin Naib in the 17th over. He added 66 to the chase. “Yeah, it felt good to get some runs and that was probably a ball that I was waiting for, hence got a bit frustrated,” he said.

“There’s always a bit of nerves. Guys have been building up for this since a month now. Good to get a win and to get the on-field nerves away. Wickets in the Powerplay are key for any side. Got a couple early and then they played well actually. A run out and a couple of wickets helped. Did lose it a bit at the end but overall, we did well,” Finch explained.

Quizzed whether Australia were thinking about wrapping up proceedings fast to boost the NRR which may come into the picture in the latter stages, Finch said: “In such situations, it’s important not to get too far ahead. They have some world class spinners, so if you take things for granted, you’re playing with fire.”