Powerful Australia ease to opening success
Australia 119 for 4 (Hussey 46) beat New Zealand 118 (Franklin 43, Johnson 3-19) by 6 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
It was a different country but the same result for Australia as they breezed to a six-wicket win over an out-classed New Zealand in the first Twenty20 in Wellington. After an unbeaten home summer the visitors started their tour with another convincing display built on very fast bowling and powerful opening batting.
New Zealand were knocked over for 118 by the speed of Shaun Tait, Dirk Nannes and Mitchell Johnson and their chances of defending the small total were basically extinguished as soon as David Warner and Shane Watson blasted 28 from the first two overs. The openers were dismissed quickly and Johnson's promotion to No. 4 failed, dropping the visitors to 39 for 3, but the small target allowed them to take their time and the win came with 24 balls to spare.
David Hussey, who hit Nathan McCullum for three fours in a row, was the aggressor in the 67-run partnership with Michael Clarke, who accumulated calmly for 18 off 26. Hussey finished with 46 from 36 balls and left shortly before the end when he drove McCullum to cover. Cameron White ended the game with a four and a straight six off Martin Guptill in a strong sign-off.
Warner didn't have a chance to try batting right handed, but he made an impact with his usual stance by introducing himself to Shane Bond with a lofted straight four and a six to square leg in the first six balls. The situation was worse in the next over for Daryl Tuffey, who was taken for 18 by Watson's four fours and a two.
They both left with 19 - and strike-rates of more than 150 - after Warner was bowled trying to slog another six from Bond and Watson was lbw to Daniel Vettori, who brought himself on in the fourth over. Vettori is always a threat against Australia and they got a sign of what life will be like over the next month as he allowed 1 for 13 from four. Bond touched 150kph in his opening spell to join the pace party and finished with 2 for 32.
Johnson's three early wickets left New Zealand at an uncomfortable 54 for 4 and the intervention of James Franklin, who collected a composed 43 off 42, was required to get them past 100. Only two other batsmen, Guptill (30) and Gareth Hopkins (21), reached double figures as the hosts were over-run.
Johnson, who finished with 3 for 19, joined in a frightening partnership with Tait and Nannes as the trio operated around 150kph. Tait and Nannes collected two wickets while Watson also chipped in with a couple of victims in a comprehensive performance from the attack.
Brad Haddin began the day in spectacular style when he dived to his right for a one-handed catch to remove the dangerous Brendon McCullum from the fourth ball. Johnson, the first-change, bowled Peter Ingram with his opening delivery to have the hosts 13 for 2 in the fifth over and he was also involved when Ross Taylor (9) was unlucky to be given out lbw by Billy Bowden. Taylor, a player who is so important to his side, was hit on the foot well outside off stump and departed at 3 for 33.
Finding the boundary was the hard thing for the home side and Australia's tight bowling prevented a quick start and a competitive score. Guptill broke free a handful of times but was taken by Johnson after Watson ran back to claim a top edge at midwicket.
A quick stand of 50 in 5.1 overs between Franklin and Hopkins was crucial in gaining some momentum for the hosts, but they quickly fell back and were dismissed on the final ball of the 20th over. They will need to improve dramatically for the second match in Christchurch on Sunday if they are going to end Australia's winning streak.
Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo