Warner, who scored an unbeaten 89 that was studded with eight boundaries, returned to ODI cricket since a year-long ban for his role in the ball-tampering scandal. @ Twitter/ICC

David Warner marked his ODI return with a sensational half-century as defending champions Australia opened their ICC World Cup 2019 account with an emphatic seven-wicket win over Afghanistan in Bristol on Saturday.

Warner, who scored an unbeaten 89 that was studded with eight boundaries, returned to ODI cricket since a year-long ban for his role in the ball-tampering scandal.

“Great win and we hope to keep the ball rolling. I think there were some nerves getting to the training and then coming out today. But I got relaxed once Finchy (captain Aaron Finch) started to get going,” Warner, who won the Man of the Match award, said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

Warner and Finch (66) put together an opening 96-run partnership which was brought to an end by Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib in the 17th over. Elaborating on this time batting in the middle, Warner said: “The way I started out today, I had to take time to move my feet and get my head into position, considering that I had only played T20 cricket over the last one year.”

Chasing a not-so-dauting target of 208 that came after Pat Cummins and Adam Zama led the bowling brigade with three wickets each the saw Afghanistan back in the hut in less than 40 overs, Warner admitted that it’s good when bowlers chip in. “Us batters like to see that (some help for the bowlers). Need to keep our nerves and look to see through that period. It’s a different contrast from the team back then (in 2015). There was more experience at that point, but this squad also has great energy in it,” he said.