The Australian pacers led the way as they handed the hosts a 71-run win in their first ODI against trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand at an empty Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday. The match was played behind closed doors amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Australia scored 258/7 batting first, although they looked set for a much bigger total particularly during captain Aaron Finch and David Warner's 124-run opening stand. The Kiwis then moved in and after that Australia went from being 124/1 in the 25th over to 165/4 about 10 overs later. Marnus Lauschagne and Mitchell Marsh then helped take Australia past the 250-run mark.
But the target turned out to be too much for the visitors, who were under the pump throughout their chase. Pat Cummins and Marsh took three wickets each while Josh Hazlewood picked up two. Spinner Adam Zampa also picked up a pair, including the wicket of New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.
The second ODI will also be played at the SCG on Sunday after which the series moves to Hobart for the third ODI on March 20.
Brief scores: Australia 258/7 in 50 overs (David Warner 67, Aaron Finch 60; Ish Sodhi 3/51) vs New Zealand 187 in 41 overs (Martin Guptill 40, Tom Latham 38; Pat Cummins 3/25)