Auckland — Kane Williamson clubbed a six from the first ball of the 24th over in an unbeaten innings of 45 which hoisted New Zealand to a one-wicket win over Australia in a breathless preliminary skirmish Saturday between the Cricket World Cup co-hosts.
Pacer Trent Boult's five wicket haul set the game up for New Zealand's they bowled Australia in 32.2 overs out for 151 in a World Cup Pool A game at the Eden Park here Saturday.
Brendon McCullum then made 50 from 21 balls as New Zealand appeared to be cruising to victory at 78-1 in the eighth over.
But Mitchell Starc took 6-28 to wreck the New Zealand innings and leave Williamson to lead a desperate rearguard action to save the match and New Zealand's unbeaten record in Pool A.
Australian skipper Michael Clarke won the toss and decided to bat. But his decision proved to be right till the initial few overs as Australia were 80/1 in 13 overs. They fell apart after that position by giving away wickets at regular intervals.
At the start, Tim Southee broke the Aaron Finch (14) defence and dealt the first blow for the Australians. David Warner (34) and underfiring Shane Watson (23) forged a 50-run stand before veteran left-arm spinner dismissed the latter with the scoreboard reading 80/2 in 13 overs.
In the first ball of the next over, Southee then removed Warner who was looking settled. After losing the third wicket, Australia failed to recover.
Vettori compounded their problem as he dismissed in-form Steven Smith (4) before Boult dealt a double blow in the forms of Glenn Maxwell (1) and Mitchell Marsh (0).
Skipper clark (12), playing his first match after recovering from an ankle injury, could not contribute much as he offered a catch to Kane Williamson off Boult to leave the team reeling at 104/7.
Left-armer Boult removed Mitchell Johnson (1) and Mitchell Starc (0) to take his first five-wicket haul in One-Day International (ODI) cricket.
Brad Haddin (43) waged a lone battle for Australia as they were dismissed for 151 in 32.2 overs.
Brief Scores: Australia 151 all out in 32.2 overs (Brad Haddin 43; Trent Boult 5/21, Daniel Vettori 2-41) against New Zealand.