Matt Henry gave New Zealand their first breakthrough within 2 overs© Getty Images
Matt Henry gave New Zealand their first breakthrough within 2 overs© Getty Images

An all-round performance by the New Zealand team, with outstanding performances from Martin Guptill and Matt Henry, helped them achieve a 159-run victory against the visiting Australia team in the series opener at Eden Park, Auckland. The series includes three One-Day International matches followed by a couple of Test matches. The hosts started off on a positive note as they won the first ODI comfortably and made Australia struggle prominently with the bat and the ball as well. New Zealand put up a good score first and scalped wickets quickly to keep the pressure on. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: New Zealand vs Australia 2015-16, 1st ODI at Auckland

Australia, winning the toss, put the hosts to bat. Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum opened batting and the latter started hitting in his own style from the third over itself. The batsmen brought up 50 for their side and it lasted for 79 runs till James Faulkner removed Brendon McCullum for a 29-ball 44. McCullum hit 5 fours and 3 sixes to play the quickfire innings. Guptill stayed there at the crease while next in Kane Williamson came and departed for an 8-ball duck. The next big partnership in favour of New Zealand came between Henry Nicholls and Guptill. The batsmen added 100 runs off the partnership, which remained the highest partnership of the innings. After scoring a 76-ball 90 with the help of 8 fours and 5 sixes, Martin Guptill departed. FULL CRICKET UPDATES: New Zealand vs Australia 2015-16, 1st ODI at Auckland

Henry Nicholls took the innings further. Nicholls played sensible cricket, sticking to grounded shots more and gradually reaching his half-century. Nicholls’ innings came to an end with 61 runs off 67 balls, hitting 6 fours and a six in the process. After Nicholls’ dismissal, the New Zealand innings lost its pace. the tourists lost a few wickets in quick succession as Grant Elliott departed for 21 and Corey Anderson and Luke Ronchi followed him shortly. Another piece of sensible batting was displayed by Mitchell Santner who came down the order but added 35 runs to push the score beyond 300.

After the brilliant start New Zealand had from the top order, the total of 307 looks not up to the mark and the problem with lack of talented middle order batsmen persists.

Meanwhile, Brendon McCullum crossed 6000 ODI runs in the match and became the third New Zealand player to do so. READ: Brendon McCullum 3rd New Zealand cricketer to cross 6,000 ODI runs

For Australia, Mitchell Marsh remained the most successful with his 2 wickets for 35 runs. Josh Hazlewood and James Faulkner also picked up a couple. John Hastings maintained the best economy ( 3.90) taking a wicket for 39 runs in his 10 overs.

The Australia team, as they came out to bat, never looked comfortable while exposed to the Kiwi bowling attack. The tourists lost their first wicket in the second over as Shaun Marsh edged a Matt Henry delivery and Martin Guptill at second slip made no mistake. The bowler went on to give New Zealand the second success as he removed Australia captain Steven Smith for 12 runs. Trent Boult joined the feast with Henry as he removed David Warner the next. Wickets kept falling as George Bailey departed for 2 followed by Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh who departed for individual ducks.

A job expected from the top-order was executed by James Faulkner and Matthew Wade. The batsmen came lower the order but built up a much-needed partnership to take Australia past 100 from a miserable condition of 41 for 6. The partnership added 79 runs. A few fireworks were seen from Kane Richardson as he hit a four and a couple of sixes. Australia were finally bundled out for 128 with 25.4 overs still remaining. With this, Australia registered their lowest total at Eden Park, Auckland.

The New Zealand bowling has been outstanding in the match. Matt Henry started the destruction and ended with 3 wickets for 41 runs. Trent Boult also picked up 3 giving 38 runs while Adam Milne and Corey Anderson both got a wicket each.Mitchell Santner achieved a feat as he became the first bowler to finish an ODI with figures of 0.2-0-0-2 in international cricket.

Brief scores:

New Zealand 307 for 8 in overs 50 ( Martin Guptill 90, Henry Nicholls 61; Mitchell Marsh 2 for 35) win by 159 runs vs Australia 148 in overs 24.2 ( Mathew Wade 37, James Faulkner 36; Matt Henry 3 for 41, Mitchell Santner 2 for 0)


(Paulami Chakraborty, a singer, dancer, artist, and photographer, loves the madness of cricket and writes about the game. She can be followed on Twitter at @Polotwitts)