George Bailey’s Australia posted a total of 139 for six from their 20 overs with openers David Warner and Shane Watson each chipping in with 20s at the top of the order.
Glenn Maxwell and Matthew Wide also kept the momentum going down the order, but Doug Bracewell and Adam Milne restricted their opponents with two wickets apiece.
In reply at the Nondescripts Cricket Club Ground, Rob Nicol fell second ball and was swiftly joined by Martin Guptill back in the pavilion as Watson and Clint McKay made early inroads.
Kane Williamson steadied his side’s innings with a patient 17, and captain Ross Taylor added 22 from number five as his side began to inch their way back into the contest.
But three wickets from the potent Brad Hogg and two wickets from Pat Cummins ensured that the Black Caps could only muster 83 runs as they were bowled out with three overs to spare.
Over at the P Sara Oval in Colombo, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s India batted first and, despite the early loss of Gautam Gambhir for just five, managed to end on 146 for five from their 20 overs against hosts Sri Lanka.
Virender Sehwag and Suresh Raina each scored 12 runs from numbers two and three, before Yuvraj Singh added 11 from number five after the loss of Virat Kohli.
But it was Rohit Sharma and Dhoni who produced the goods for their side with 37 and 55 not out, respectively, as the hosts were left to chase 147 at 7.3 runs per over.
Kumar Sangakkara struck 32 off as many balls to put his side in contention after the early loss of both openers, and Angelo Mathews – batting at number four – added a quickfire 16.
Jeevan Mendis and Lahiru Thirimanne scored 26 and 24, respectively, but five wickets from the inspired Irfan Pathan left the hosts well short of their required total as they were bowled out with three balls of their innings remaining.
The World Twenty20, held in Sri Lanka, gets underway on September 18.