At Wellington (Westpac Stadium), February 6, 2016 (day/night). Australia won by four wickets. Toss: New Zealand. One-day international debut: A. Zampa.
Australia withstood the heat of Wellington's Cake Tin. McCullum's fiery start burned out - he made 28 of the first 35 runs in 4.2 overs - while Guptill failed to rise at the site of his World Cup double-century against West Indies. Williamson provided the first-half drive, then Santner and some late hitting by Milne lifted New Zealand to 281. But old-fashioned pitch-basher Hastings was frugal for the second game running, while Adam Zampa's leg-spin brought control and key wickets on his international debut. The chase featured Khawaja, whose recent form in all cricket had him inked in as opener for Earth in case a match was required against Mars. His effortless start with Warner - 122 from 16.2 overs with a sumptuous range of shots - should have sealed the pursuit. But Australia lost four for 22, and it was 197 for six once Warner had fallen for 98 and Milne reeled in an outrageous one-handed catch at deep midwicket to dispose of Wade, who sank to his knees. On a pitch that hadn't allowed fluency, Mitchell Marsh and Hastings now needed 85 in 17.3 overs. With sensible defence and the occasional biff, they saw off good bowling and harvested singles, until Hastings finished Australia's biggest chase in New Zealand (previously only 248) with two lashed fours. The series was level.
Man of the Match: M. R. Marsh.