Australia beat New Zealand by 7 wickets

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Ricky Ponting scored 100 runs from 100 balls on his way to an unbeaten 107 as Australia beat New Zealand by seven wickets on Friday.

Updated: December 16, 2007 11:41 IST
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Australia beat New Zealand by seven wickets with 45 balls to spare in the opening Chappell-Hadlee Trophy cricket one-day match at the Adelaide Oval on Friday.

Skipper Ricky Ponting scored an unbeaten 107 off 108 balls for his 24th one-day century to steer the Australians home to a comprehensive victory.

Wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum fell four runs short of his maiden one-day century as New Zealand totalled 254 for seven off 50 overs batting first.

But the Australians did it comfortably with Adam Gilchrist smashing 51 off 29 balls with six fours and two sixes to set the platform which Ponting carried on stylishly.

The series continues with the second match in Sydney on Sunday with the third and final game in Hobart on Thursday.

Match scores: New Zealand 254 for 7 (50 overs), Australia 255 for 3 (42.3 overs).

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