By Liam Morgan

New Zealand earned a three wicket win over Scotland in a low scoring contest in Dunedin ©Getty ImagesCo-hosts New Zealand survived a scare today to beat Scotland by three wickets in a low-scoring contest at the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup in Dunedin.

Having bowled Scotland out for a paltry 142, New Zealand initially made hard work of chasing the total down as they lost seven wickets before they eventually claimed the victory in the 26th over.

Kane Williamson top scored for the Kiwis with 38 as they maintained their 100 per cent record at the tournament so far following an opening day win over Sri Lanka.

Brendon McCullum's men will, however, have to be in better form if they are to mount a serious challenge on the World Cup trophy, although they started the contest with Scotland in bullish fashion.

Fast-bowler Trent Boult made expert use of the conditions as he took wickets with the first two balls of the second over, and at one point New Zealand had the Scots pegged back at 12-4, following four first-ball ducks from the Scottish batsmen - the first time that has ever happened at a World Cup.

Scotland, coming into the tournament in good form after thrashing fellow qualifiers Ireland, who caused an upset yesterday by beating former two-time World Cup winners West Indies, in a pre-event friendly, did manage to recover thanks to a composed 56 from Matt Machan before they were eventually bowled out.

Needing just 143 to win, New Zealand opted to pursue the total in extravagant fashion, seemingly wanting to wrap it up sooner rather than later.

Trent Boult was in ruthless form with the ball as New Zealand bowled Scotland out for just 142Trent Boult was in ruthless form with the ball as New Zealand bowled Scotland out for just 142 ©Getty Images

This tactic, however, caused them to lose wickets at regular intervals, but despite floundering at times, the New Zealand batsmen did enough to seal a second straight win for the six-time semi-finalists.

Scotland would have harboured few hopes that they could snatch a shock victory after their rather meagre total, but captain Preston Mommsen tried to take the positives despite the defeat.

"Two wickets in two balls changes it completely, and we would have been sniffing victory," he said.

"There were some jittery moments for them towards the end of the game.

"Overall, I am pretty proud of the performance, especially the fight and the character we showed in the second half."

New Zealand's next match in Pool A is a day-nighter against England, who were hammered by co-hosts Australia in their opening game, in Wellington on Friday (February 20).

The tournament continues tomorrow when Bangladesh take on Afghanistan in Adelaide in what will be both sides' first outing at this year's competition.

The World Cup features 14 teams split into two groups of seven, with the top four from each pool progressing to the quarter-finals.

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