Green guides Australia to 2-wicket ODI win over New Zealand

CAIRNS, Aug 6:  Cameron Green scored an unbeaten 89 and shared a 158-run sixth-wicket partnership with Alex Carey as Australia recovered from a top-order collapse Tuesday to beat New Zealand by two wickets in the series-opening one-day international.

Australia won the toss and restricted top-ranked New Zealand to 232-9, with allrounder Glenn Maxwell taking an ODI career-best 4-52 and paceman Josh Hazlewood snaring 3-31 for the hosts.

Devon Conway (46), skipper Kane Williamson (45), Tom Latham (43) and Michael Bracewell (26) all made promising starts for New Zealand before losing their wickets to the versatile Maxwell in conditions perfect for his slower off-spinners.

Trent Boult grabbed three early wickets with some vintage in-swing bowling for New Zealand, removing skipper Aaron Finch (5), Steve Smith (1) and Marnus Labuschagne (0), and Matt Henry dismissed David Warner (20) and Marcus Stoinis (5) to have Australia reeling at 44-5 after 12 overs.

But Carey (85) and Green combined to steady the innings and, with plenty of overs in hand and the pitch improving, set about gradually chasing down the required runs.

Carey survived a close review for lbw off Mitchell Santner on 68 and then lofted the next ball down the ground for a boundary to lift Australia to 171-5 after 35 overs.

Green was on 68 when he top-edged an attempted pull shot to a short ball from Lockie Ferguson and Boult put down a regulation chance at fine leg.

Boult bowled the subsequent over that went for 11 runs, including a boundary from Carey that raised the 150 partnership, and Australia appeared to be back in complete command of the game. But Carey’s 99-ball innings ended when he swotted a short ball from Ferguson directly to Henry at mid-on to make the score 202-6 in the 40th over.

New Zealand picked up two more quick wickets, with Boult (4-40) dismissing Maxwell (2) in his last over and Ferguson dismissing Mitchell Starc (1) as the Australian total slipped to 207-8.

Green then combined with No. 9 Adam Zampa in a 26-run stand that finished off the game with five overs to spare, but in a slower-than-regulation pace.

Green twice needed treatment from the physiotherapist for cramps in his legs, once on 78 and again after hobbling through for a single to get Australia within 10 of victory.

After a brief delay for rain when Australia still needed four runs, Zampa ran through for a two and a single to level the scores and faced down the last delivery that went for a wide down leg side.

The teams will meet again in Cairns on Thursday and Sunday. (AP)