Australia: 258-7 (50 overs)
New Zealand 187 all-out (41 overs)
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The first ODI between Australia and New Zealand played behind closed doors went the hosts' way due to some decent batting from their openers David Warner and Aaron Finch and a good collective effort from the bowlers.
Chasing 259 runs to win, New Zealand knew that a good start from the openers would set the tone for the rest of the innings. However, just when the Black Caps threatened to form a good partnership and take the game away from the Aussies, they lost a wicket. They were 96-5 at one stage when Tom Latham was joined by Colin de Grandhomme. The duo added 51 runs for the sixth wicket and kept New Zealand in the game. But some good bowling from Pat Cummins and Mitchell Marsh ensured that the Kiwis were bowled out for just 187 with nine overs remaining, thus ensuring a win by 71 runs.
Earlier, Australia opted to bat first and intended to put heaps of runs on the board to defend it later. They were provided a steady start by Warner and Finch. Both took their time to settle in but once they were set, they began to keep the scoreboard ticking and added 124 runs for the first wicket. However, Australia lost four quick wickets thereafter, undoing all the good work done by the openers. A 59-run partnership between Mitchell Marsh and Marnus Labuschagne, with the latter scoring a well-made half-century, ensured that Australia reached a competitive score of 258-7 in their 50 overs.
Warner, Finch give Australia a solid start
David Warner and Aaron Finch were key to Australia putting up a good score on the board for their bowlers to defend. Both took a bit of time earlier to get their eye in. But once they felt comfortable at the crease, they began to take calculated risks and scored runs at a brisk pace. Warner scored 67 runs from 88 balls, which included nine fours.
Finch played with a better strike-rate, scoring 60 off 75 balls, which included three fours and two sixes. The duo added 124 runs for the first wicket in just 24 overs, scoring runs at almost a run-a-ball. It was their opening partnership that set up a good platform for the rest of the batting line-up to build on.
Marsh, Cummins rattle the Kiwis
259 was not a huge target and the Australian bowlers knew that they had to take early wickets and prevent any partnership from blossoming. New Zealand were 69-2 when Mitchel Marsh got the wicket of Ross Taylor, one of their most experienced batsmen, who hit the ball straight to mid-on, with a view of improving the scoring rate. Cummins then got the other set batsman, Martin Guptill, out thanks to a brilliant catch by Steve Smith.
Cummins did not let the partnership between Jimmy Neesham and Tom Latham develop by picking the wicket of Neesham cheaply. Marsh further took the wickets of Mitchell Santner and Lockie Ferguson while Boult was caught by Cummins off his own bowling to complete a comprehensive 71-run victory for the home side. Cummins ended with figures of 3/25 and Marsh ended with figures of 3/29. Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa also contributed with a couple of wickets each.
Mitchell Marsh strung an important partnership with Marnus Labuschagne to help Australia post 258-7 and was brilliant with the ball, picking up figures of 3/29. For his all-round effort in the game, he was adjudged the Player of the Match.
These were his thoughts after the game:
Pleased to get the win at the start of the series. We were disappointed to lose 0-3 to South Africa. We were pumped to get out here and win today. It was not a 300 wicket. The opening partnership set us up beautifully.