Allrounder Mitchell Marsh and pacer Pat Cummins rose to the occasion as both picked three wickets apiece to help Australia crush New Zealand by 71 runs in the first one day international at an empty Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.

After winning the toss, Australia opted to bat first and openers David Warner (67 off 88), Aaron Finch (60 off 75 balls) got them off to a brilliant start, stitching a crucial 124 runs for the opening wicket. With the openers losing their wickets in quick succession, there was a minor collapse as Steve Smith managed five runs and D’Arcy Short scored 14.

Mitchell Marsh and Marnus Labuschange got the hosts back on track to help Australia post a challenging 258/7 in 50 overs.

The target turned out to be too much for the visitors, who were under the pump throughout their chase. All they managed was 187/10 in 41 overs.

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)

The match was played in front of empty grandstands after Cricket Australia barred spectators from attending as a response to the coronavirus pandemic.