Australian skipper Steve Smith has guided his side to a win in the opening one-dayer against New Zealand with a record 164.
A record-breaking century from Steve Smith has steered Australia to a pressure-relieving win in the opening one-dayer against New Zealand at the SCG on Sunday.
Smith smashed a memorable 164, the highest ODI score at the Sydney ground, to guide his side out of trouble and set up a 68-run victory.
After Australia found themselves in early trouble, Smith spearheaded their victory.
Matthew Wade (38 off 22) and Travis Head (52) also played valuable late cameos as the home side posted 8-324 from 50 overs in front of a crowd of 22,502.
It was an important win for the Aussies who came into the series facing their sixth straight ODI defeat, after a 5-0 whitewash in South Africa.
Their world No.1 ranking was also under threat.
However they easily accounted for the Black Caps, who were bowled out for 256 from 44.2 overs, despite Martin Guptill's 114 giving his side a sniff.
When Guptill skied Adam Zampa to substitute fielder Glenn Maxwell at midwicket, the game was as good as over with Josh Hazlewood (3-49) and Mitchell Starc (1-37) starring with the ball.
Pat Cummins (2-62) had a mixed night on his return to the international arena following a 15-month absence due to injury.
Black Caps captain Kane Williamson would have been kicking himself after failing to review an appeal when Smith was hit on the pads by Boult while on 14.
He was given not out lbw but replays showed it would have been overturned on review.
Wade's swashbuckling innings came after the media frenzy whipped up by teammate Glenn Maxwell during the week.
Maxwell, who was left out of Australia's final XI but came on as a substitute fieldsman, was fined and reprimanded after criticising Wade's captaincy and decision to bat above him in recent Sheffield Shield games for Victoria.
The Aussies were in early trouble after openers Aaron Finch (0) and David Warner (24) were both out chopping on to their stumps.
When Mitchell Marsh was unluckily run out at the non-striker's end after Jimmy Neesham deflected a Smith drive on to the stumps, the home side were at 4-92 in the 21st over.
Colin Munro (49), Neesham (34) and Matt Henry (27) were the only other Black Caps batsmen to pass double figures.
Smith, who also took a diving one-handed grab to dismiss BJ Watling, said he rated his performance on Sunday behind his century against Sri Lanka at the same ground in the 2015 World Cup.
"I actually like the one I got here in the semi-final a bit better under the circumstances," Smith said.
"But it'd certainly be up there. I came in in the first over under a bit of pressure and having to be the glue through a few wickets and a few unfortunate wickets."
Guptill said while pleased with his personal milestone, he felt downtrodden after failing to bat through the innings.
"I'll take that any day of the week, it wasn't an easy task out there, Australia have a very good bowling line up," Guptill said.
"I was lucky enough to get through and get the 100 but unfortunately I couldn't take it through to the end."
By Steve Zemek, AAP