New Zealand concede their analysis of the Sydney Cricket Ground was woefully askew, helping Australia romp to victory in the Twenty20 international tri-series opener.

Expecting a decent batting track which might aid the spinners, New Zealand were pleased when asked to bat first. But the mood swiftly turned to horror as towering paceman Billy Stanlake struck three times early and they limped to 117 for nine.

The hosts overcame a poor start of their own, reaching a rain-reduced target of 96 for three with 21 balls to spare.

Veteran batsman Ross Taylor admitted they didn't read the two-paced nature of the track, which made timing difficult, particularly from the ballooning slower deliveries.

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"We pride ourselves on assessing the conditions and [on Saturday night] we weren't able to do that," he said. "Clearly there was a little bit in the wicket in those first few overs.

"We weren't able to soak that up and put a competitive score on the board. Every time we lost a wicket, we had to try and hold back and take it as deep as possible."

Taylor believes 140 might have stretched the hosts but reaching that score was unfeasible after openers Colin Munro and Martin Guptill fell to the pace of Stanlake and skipper Kane Williamson exited for a painful eight off 21 balls.

Taylor also struggled for timing with his 24, leaving it up to Colin de Grandhomme (38 not out off 24 balls) to provide the only clean hitting. The allrounder's three sixes all travelled high into the SCG stands, continuing his brutal summer of batting.

Taylor admired the batting of Chris Lynn (44 off 33) and Glenn Maxwell (40 not out off 24) after Australia were reduced to 10 for two.

"They were able to get boundaries. There were a lot of dot balls in between but they were able to release the pressure every now and then."

Spinners Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi didn't have the desired effect, leaving New Zealand with plenty to ponder ahead of a 10-day break.

Australia face England twice in the next two tri-series matches before New Zealand host the English in Wellington and Hamilton, bisected by a clash with Australia in Auckland. The final is at Eden Park on February 21.

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- AAP