Australia captain Steve Smith blasted a career best 164, the highest one-day international innings at the Sydney Cricket Ground, to drive the hosts to a 68-run victory over New Zealand on Sunday.

Black Caps opener Martin Guptil responded with a sparkling century of his own but New Zealand were only able to muster up 256 all out in response to Australia’s 324-8 and went 1-0 down in the three match series.

Australia were desperate for a victory having been swept 5-0 in South Africa in September and October, even more so after a week where a row between batsman Glenn Maxwell and wicketkeeper Matt Wade dominated the headlines.

Maxwell was handed a team fine on Saturday for his criticism of Wade’s captaincy of the Victoria state team, which Smith thought “disrespectful”, and ordered to carry the drinks as 12th man.

Smith, having won the toss, was soon showing a similarly firm hand to the New Zealand bowlers, hammering 14 fours and four sixes in a 157-ball masterclass on a balmy summer’s afternoon at his home ground.

The series continues in Canberra on Tuesday before concluding in Melbourne on Friday.

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