Aussies smash England in 20/20

Australia have continued their domination of England over the summer with a 77 run win over England at the SCG.

Australia slammed on a Twenty20 world record total of 221-5, a score in which England didn’t even come close to reaching, managing 144-9 in reply.

On a hot and humid Sydney afternoon, the cheerleaders were soon off the ground, the ear pieces firmly in place and Australia got off to flying start with Matthew Hayden hammering 20 runs off 8 balls, before skying one directly to mid-off, caught easily by Jamie Dalrymple.

Adam “Church” Gilchrist started his innings off shakily, going for the slog and missing on numerous occasions as his batting partner at other end, captain Ricky Ponting opened up with a marvellous six followed by a classy four before being dropped on 16 by Jon Lewis in the outfield.

Remembering what he does best, Gilchrist turned up the heat during the fifth over, hitting three 6’s in a row.

As he chatted to the commentators, he dazzled the blockbuster SCG crowd with his powerful hitting and beautiful strokeplay. Six overs in and Australia had already accumulated 73 runs and were looking to blow the game away from England.

Ponting, despite being publicly critical of the format throughout the week, wasn’t showing it any disdain tonight as he launched the ball all over the ground, his first 20 coming off just eight deliveries.

Gilchrist wasn’t to be outdone though, another two 6’s to add to his previous three in a row, before an inside edge back onto off-stump saw him depart for 48, off just 29 balls. The man who Gilchrist terrorised in Perth, Monty Panesar making the breakthrough.

There would be no respite for the English, as Michael Hussey came to the crease and hit an immediate boundary. Australia, sitting at a comfortable 100 of just 50 balls, the signs not looking good for England.

A stunning six from Hussey before he was run out by England’s third wicketkeeper for the tour, Paul Nixon, again off the bowling of Panesar, ended his night out and continued Panesar’s good form for the tour.

Mixing up his strokes, the Ashes man of the series – Ricky Ponting, impressed the crowd with his vast array of ammunition; a six over long-off, a fine four down the leg-side and the Australian’s were approaching their 150 before the 13th over of the match.

A couple of balls later and Jon Lewis was able to rectify his horrible drop from earlier in the evening, catching a lofted Ponting blast to square-leg. Ponting departing for 47 off 26 balls, after being dropped by Lewis at just 16. Michael Clarke was in and out soon after, after all, this is not a game for sticking around.

If the English captain, Michael Vaughan, thought that a couple of quick wickets would make the job easier for England, he was terribly mistaken. The premier limited-overs batsman in the world, Andrew Symonds, launched into the English attack as he found the boundaries with plenty of ease.

Victorian Cameron White got into the act as well, plummeting a six over midwicket and another one over Jamie Dalrymple’s head as the close of the inning came near.

There was one last roll of the dice however as a 17 run bumper last over from the Australians saw White thumping the ball into the Members Stand and then the Ladies Stand, setting up for himself a comprehensive claim for one-day selection in the process.

Australia finished their innings on 221-5, a world record for Twenty20 Internationals. It wasn’t the only record broken during the innings, Australia rewriting the history books with 14 sixes for the night. An incredible display of batting prowess all-round by the Australians.

White ended his innings on a stellar 40* off a mere 20 balls, slightly bettering the all-powerful Symonds who scored 39* from 22 deliveries.

None of England’s bowlers fared particularly well, Panesar the most successful taking two wickets but going for 40 runs, 10 an over. Anderson would have thought he was in a recurring bad dream, going for 64 runs from his four overs.

England’s reply began erratically as Ed Joyce started his international campaign in Australia with just the single run, hitting a ball straight in the air to Michael Hussey. The very next over saw Shane Harwood open his account for the summer, removing Andrew Flintoff for a duck. Flintoff continuing his uneventful tour with the bat. England two wickets for five runs and in serious trouble at that stage.

England’s saviour Kevin Pietersen tried not to disappoint the crowd, belting two well timed fours as England attempted to rebuild their innings. However it was not to be – a brilliant piece of fielding by Shane Harwood with a direct hit at stumps saw Pietersen out for 11. England in dire straits at 32-3.

In his return to international cricket, captain Michael Vaughan showed plenty promise of things to come in the imminent one-day series, scoring a helpful and intelligent 27 runs from 21 balls before falling LBW to an Andrew Symonds off-spinner.

Ben Hilfenhaus began his international career bowling quite well, extracting some impressive away swing as he struck early on, removing Paul Collingwood who attempted to clear the boundary but only managed to find Cameron White, England just 70-5.

Hilfenhaus didn’t stop there and he had Ian Bell out to a low full toss shortly afterwards. Bell gone for a handy 22 off the same amount of balls, however it was not enough as England tried in vain to chase Australia’s record total.

All rounder Jamie Dalrymple scored a clever 32 in his debut in Australia for the tour, attempting to salvage some respect for his home country. Symonds had the better of him though, as he failed a reverse sweep, plumb LBW.

A couple of tailenders later and it was all over Australia thrashing England by 77 runs.

All the Australian bowlers contributed well, with Hilfenhaus the standout on debut; taking two wickets and conceding only 16 runs. Symonds was the next best, 24 runs coming off his four overs and also taking two English scalps. With not one bowler from the successful Ashes series partaking in the match, the signs are good for Australia’s bowling future.

If Australia weren’t brimming with confidence after their Ashes whitewash, they certainly were after tonight’s performance. A world record total first up and a solid bowling defence ensure Australia will by easy favourites for not only the Commonwealth Bank series coming up, but the World Cup soon after that.

England’s tour goes from bad to worse as they continue their losing streak in Australia. They are yet to win any form of cricket match on Australian soil and will need to turn their form around quickly, their first one-day match starting this Friday.

Australia 221-5
Adam Gilchrist 48, Ricky Ponting 47, Cameron White 40*
Monty Panesar 2-40

England 144-9
Jamie Dalrymple 32, Paul Nixon 31*, Michael Vaughan 27
Ben Hilfenhaus 2-16, Andrew Symonds 2-24

Australia won by 77 runs

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