David Warner hit a quickfire 39 and Steve Smith 22 Monday in his first appearance for Australia since a major ball tampering scandal as the home team beat a New Zealand runner-up by a wicket in a practice game.
The Australians were set to target 216 at Allan Border
Field in Brisbane as they warm up for the World Cup defense, and scraped home
with 10 balls to spare thanks to a final rescue act.
They now won nine of a day in a row, though
was an unofficial match and did not count as a complete international.
Skipper Aaron Finch continued his vein richly with a
measured 52, but Usman Khawaja fell cheaply – bringing Warner to
the crease, to warm the applause of the crowd.
He survived a fall into nothing before clicking on
gear and turn the form that saw him average 69.20 in 12 innings in the
Indian Premier League.
Warner hammered 39 of 43 balls before falling to
leg-spinner Todd Astle trying a reverse sweep.
That took away Smith who started nervously before hitting
a couple of limits. He passed 43 balls in the middle before being caught
behind Matt Henry.
It was the pair's first game in Australian colors since
serving bans for one year for its participation in ball tampering with "sandpaper door"
scandal in Cape Town that rocked the Australian cricket.
After Smith left, Australia lost five to 42 before one
Nathan Coulter-Nile's impressive 34 helped take them home.
Earlier, Pat Cummins picked up two wickets on his first
before New Zealand, missing Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill and Trent Boult,
recovered to post respectable 215 out of 46.1 overs
Tom Blundell led the fight and the top scored with 77.
Cummins finished with 3-36 of eight overs, with Nathan Coulter-Nile and Jason
Behrendorff also got three each.
Australia play two more games against the New
Zealand this week before heading to England, where they open their World Cup
campaign against Afghanistan on June 1 in Bristol.