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Smith, Warner return as Australia edge second-string New Zealand by one wicket
New Zealand in Australia

Smith, Warner return as Australia edge second-string New Zealand by one wicket

David Warner struck a quick fire 39 and Steve Smith 22 in their first appearance for Australia since ball-tampering scandal as the home side edged a second-string New Zealand by one wicket in a practice match.

The Australians were given a target of 216 at Allan Border Field in Brisbane as they prepare to defend the World Cup, and got home with 10 balls to spare thanks to a tail-end rescue act.

They have now won nine ODIs on the trot, although this was an unofficial game and not counted as a full international.

Skipper Aaron Finch continued his solid form with a calculated 52, but fellow opener Usman Khawaja was cleaned up early by Matt Henry which then brought Warner to the crease, to warm applause from the crowd.

He survived a dropped catch on nought before pushing the pedal and turning on the form that saw him average 69.20 in 12 innings in the Indian Premier League.

Warner struck 39 off 43 balls before falling to leg-spinner Todd Astle attempting a reverse sweep.

That brought out Smith who started nervously before hitting a pair of boundaries. He was caught behind off Henry’s bowling, scoring 22 off 43 balls.

After Smith departed, Australia lost five for 42 before Nathan Coulter-Nile struck an impressive 34 off 36 balls to get his side over the line.

Earlier, Pat Cummins struck twice in his first over before New Zealand, missing Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill and Trent Boult, recovered to post respectable 215 off 46.1 overs.

Tom Blundell led the fightback and top scored with 77. Cummins ended with 3-36 off eight overs, with Nathan Coulter-Nile and Jason Behrendorff also grabbing three apiece.

Australia play another two games against New Zealand this week before heading to England where they kick off their World Cup campaign against Afghanistan on June 1.