Australia's Brett Lee produced a fast bowling spell bristling with pure hostility to lead his side to a 147-run victory over New Zealand in the first Chappell-Hadlee Trophy one-day match in Auckland on Saturday.
Chasing 253 for victory after Australia made 252 for eight, New Zealand's chase virtually ended inside the first 12 overs. Lee bullied the top order by consistently bowling at speeds exceeding 150 kph in an opening six-over spell in which he took three wickets for five runs with four maidens.
Lee was assisted by left-arm swing bowler Nathan Bracken, whose nagging line and length produced two early wickets. New Zealand slumped to 28 for five before eventually being bowled out for 105 in 27.4 overs.
All rounders Chris Cairns (37 not out) and Jacob Oram (23) produced some belligerent lower order resistance but the damage had already been done.
It was New Zealand's seventh successive defeat by Australia in one-day internationals and the 14th in their last 15 games against the world champions.
The defeat was also New Zealand's fifth successive loss after they lost a one-day series in South Africa 4-0.
Lee's pace caused constant problems for the New Zealand batsmen who attempted to attack Bracken at the other end with opener Lou Vincent producing a false shot at a wide Bracken delivery to drag it on for four.
Hamish Marshall (5) then played Lee on before Scott Styris smashed a wide Bracken delivery only to be brilliantly caught by Michael Clarke at point for one to leave New Zealand struggling at 19 for three.
James Marshall, who was the Supersub and replaced Kyle Mills, completely lost sight of a Lee delivery and was adjuged leg before wicket for one before Craig McMillan was well caught by Mike Hussey in the slips off Lee for a duck.
Stuart Clark replaced Lee in the next over and the marked drop in pace only fooled Nathan Astle, who smashed a short, wide delivery to a diving Clarke at backward-point for 14 to leave New Zealand in dire straits at 33 for six.
Cairns and Oram ensured New Zealand passed their lowest one-day total of 64 (against Pakistan in 1986) though the result was never in doubt after the opening onslaught.
New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori, standing in for Stephen Fleming who is recovering from surgery to remove a benign tumour from his face, had won the toss and elected to bowl on the drop-in pitch at Eden Park.
After removing the dangerous Adam Gilchrist for just three, New Zealand's bowlers were then smashed to all parts by Ricky Ponting (63) and Simon Katich (54) in an 117-run partnership.
New Zealand pegged the Australians back when they removed Katich, Ponting and Brad Hodge (13) in quick succession before Andrew Symonds (44), Clarke (31) and Mike Hussey (21 not out) pushed Australia over 250.
Vettori finished with two for 29 off his 10 overs.
The second match is in Wellington on December 7, with the third match in Christchurch on December 10.
A. Gilchrist c Astle b Franklin 3
S. Katich c Vettori b Styris 54
R. Ponting lbw b Vettori 63
B. Hodge b Styris 13
A. Symonds b Vettori 44
M. Clarke c Franklin b Cairns 31
M. Hussey not out 21
B. Lee b Cairns 0
B. Hogg c Vettori b Mills 4
N. Bracken not out 1
Extras (lb-6 nb-3 w-9) 18
Total (for 8 wickets, 50 overs) 252
Fall of wickets: 1-3 2-121 3-136 4-148 5-207 6-230 7-231 8-249
Did not bat: S. Clark
Bowling: K. Mills 10-1-35-1 (nb-1 w-1), J. Franklin 4-0-29-1, J. Oram 7-0-54-0 (w-1), C. Cairns 9-0-54-2 (nb-2 w-1), S. Styris 10-0-45-2 (w-1), D. Vettori 10-1-29-2 (w-1)
New Zealand Innings
L. Vincent b Bracken 4
N. Astle c Clarke b Clark 14
H. Marshall b Lee 5
S. Styris c Clarke b Bracken 1
J. Marshall lbw b Lee 1
C. McMillan c Hussey b Lee 0
C. Cairns not out 37
J. Oram b Clark 23
B. McCullum c White b Clark 2
D. Vettori c Ponting b Symonds 8
J. Franklin c Gilchrist b Symonds 0
Extras (b-4 lb-1 w-5) 10
Total (all out, 27.4 overs) 105
Fall of wickets: 1-5 2-16 3-19 4-20 5-28 6-33 7-74 8-82 9-105 10-105
Bowling: B. Lee 6-4-5-3 (w-3), N. Bracken 8-0-40-2 (w-1), S. Clark 7-1-19-3 (w-1), A. Symonds 5.4-1-32-2, C. White 1-0-4-0.
Result: Australia won by 147 runs