A sublime 158-run partnership between Alex Carey and Cameron Green and a four-wicket haul by Glenn Maxwell helped Australia register a two-wicket win in the opening One-Day International match against New Zealand in Cairns on Tuesday.
Joining forces at 5/44 in response to New Zealand's 232, Carey (85 off 99 balls) and Green (89 not out off 92 balls) flourished on a Cazalys Stadium pitch where almost every other batter had faced issues.
Although hampered by cramps in his left leg, a hobbling Green powered on as he and Adam Zampa's 26-run ninth-wicket partnership got Australia across the line by two wickets in a tense finish.But it wasn't a comfortable two-wicket win for Australia Carey's dismissal with 31 runs required prompted a mini-collapse with Maxwell (two off eight) and Mitch Starc (one off three) following in quick succession.
There was a seven-minute break in play with 23 runs left to get as Green required medical attention on his left leg and then with four runs to get, a brief rain interruption.Green finished unbeaten at the non-strikers end on a career-best 89 as a leg-side wide from Lockie Ferguson gifted Australia a thrilling victory.
Earlier, Australia captain Aaron Finch won the toss and elected to field first in the opening ODI.The first over was an exciting one, with Martin Guptill scoring six runs off the first two balls off Mitchell Starc, which included a controlled glance through fine-leg for four.
He was adjudged LBW at the end of the over but took a successful review to survive on six.However, Starc had the last laugh when he snared Guptill in the fifth over, thanks largely to Maxwell's terrific grab at the backward point.
Glenn Maxwell claimed a four-wicket haul as Australia restricted New Zealand to a below-par total of 232/9.Devon Conway, Kane Williamson and Tom Latham got starts for the visitors but couldn't convert them into big scores.
New Zealand, who were inserted into bat, started on the wrong note with Martin Guptill pushing at an away-seamer from Starc towards backward point, with Maxwell pouching a stunning catch. Williamson then joined forces with Conway, as the pair shared a stand of 81 for the second wicket.
None of the New Zealanders passed 50, however, there were solid partnerships all the way throughout the innings.
Brief scores: New Zealand 232/9 in 50 overs (Devon Conway 46, Kane Williamson 45; Glenn Maxwell 4-52) lost to Australia 233/8 in 45 overs (Cameron Green 89, Alex Carey 85; Trent Boult 4-40) by 2 wickets.