At Birmingham, June 2. No result. Toss: New Zealand.
Australia had not enjoyed their recent trips to Birmingham, and heavy showers made it five no results in six one-day internationals, including the meeting between these sides at the previous Champions Trophy in 2013. Yet if the weather had held, they might have made an even worse start to their tournament. Ronchi, picked ahead of Tom Latham to provide New Zealand with oomph from the off, cracked Cummins for three sixes on his way to a frisky 43-ball 65, his first half-century in 37 ODI innings dating back to January 2015. The assault gave Williamson a chance to bed in with a succession of gentle persuasions to third man. He glided past 50 during a stand of 99 with Taylor then, once set, had the time - even against a high-class pace attack - to pick which balls to force through midwicket as he cantered to 100 in 96 deliveries, his ninth one-day century but his first against Australia. In the field, Smith puffed his cheeks, later criticising the bowlers for their "worst display in a very long time", but after Williamson was run out, they showed their teeth. Hazlewood had conceded 20 from his first two overs (and admitted to Smith's charge), before returning to pick up five for 15 in 18 balls and finish with a career-best six for 52. In an innings reduced to 46 overs by an early shower, New Zealand had collapsed from 254 for three to 291 all out in 45. Rain delayed the resumption, and Australian heads seemed as cloudy as the heavens, losing three quick wickets as they tried and failed to get ahead of the rate - but the end came 11 overs before there could be a result.