David Warner scored an unbeaten 83 in his first major international appearance since a year-long ban for his role in a ball-tampering scandal as champions Australia launched their ICC World Cup 2019 defence with a seven-wicket thrashing of Afghanistan 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.

The match was the first official Australian appearance in any format for Warner and former captain Steve Smith since the end of their year-long bans for ball-tampering.

The crowd booed the pair and two fans watched the game from a balcony dressed as sandpaper after the scandal last year in which Australia hatched a plot to use the material to alter the condition of the ball.

Left-handed Warner opened the batting with captain Aaron Finch in the evening sunshine but it was the skipper who set the tone, reaching his fifty off 40 balls with three sixes.

Warner, not at his belligerent best, had a narrow escape when he was on 19, scrambling back after chopping a delivery and losing sight of the ball as wicket-keeper Mohammad Shahzad whipped off the bails.

The breakthrough finally came in the 17th over when Finch mistimed a slower ball from Afghan skipper Gulbadin Naib and holed out to Mujeeb Ur Rahman at deep cover, smashing his bat into his pads in frustration.

Warner, 32, played watchfully during the early part of his innings but found his touch as he neared his fifty, reaching the mark off 74 balls and raising his bat to of a chorus of boos.

The dismissal of Usman Khawaja by Rashid Khan brought Smith to the wicket and he too was booed.

Smith was dismissed in tame fashion, caught by Hazratullah Zazai off the bowling of Mujeeb for 18 with the end in sight and had to endure more boos and apparent shouts of “cheat” as he left the field.