Australia launched its World Cup campaign with an efficient victory over Afghanistan — and appeared totally unfazed by the hostile reception given to Steve Smith and David Warner.
David Warner top-scored with 89 not out in his first official international match after completing a one-year ball-tampering ban.
But both Warner and Smith, also banned over the ‘sandpapergate’ scandal, were subjected to jeers from the crowd after suffering a similar fate during last week’s warm-up match against England.
Two fans even watched the game in Bristol from a nearby balcony dressed as sandpaper in reference to the scandal last year in which Australia hatched a plot to use the material to alter the condition of the ball during a Test in South Africa.
Leg-spinner Adam Zampa, who took three wickets, said Australia was prepared for barracking from spectators throughout the tournament.
“We have spoken a bit how we are going to handle that situation,” he said. “Obviously, we copped it in the warm-up game against England, too. But I think we are expecting it. And to be fair, I think everyone’s handling it really well.”
Zampa said he did not think Warner and Smith would necessarily feed off the negative vibes from the crowd, but instead were shutting them out, praising them for the way they were handling the situation.
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