In the history of the cricketing world, 17th Feb 2005 is the date when the game saw a major transformation and the T20I format was born. On that day, the first T20 international match was played between Australia and New Zealand, it was the maiden T20I match for both teams at Auckland on Feb 17, 2005. Ricky Ponting was leading the Australian cricket team, and Stephen Fleming was the captain of New Zealand.
Australian captain, Ricky Pointing went for the batting first after winning the toss and sent the tested and trusted openers, Adam Gilchrist and Michael Clarke. The New Zealand skipper showed trust in Daryl Tuffey and gave him the new ball to open the attack. It was not a good start for Australia as they lost both the openers at 21 runs in 1.5 overs. Then Andrew Symonds with Ricky Ponting tried to handle the situation. Australia maintained the run rate of over 10 but lost wickets on the other hand. They lost Symonds in 3.6 overs at 46 runs. On one side, the skipper Ricky Pointing played very well and smashed unbeaten 98 runs from 55 balls with eight 4s and five 6s at a strike rate of 178.18. He struck his first T20I fifty on his T20I debut. Ricky Ponting 98*, Symonds 32, Simon Katich 30, and Michael Hussey’s 31* helped them to reach a big total of 214 runs. All the New Zealand bowlers were badly dominated by Australians and gave runs at an economy of over 10. Only Chris Cains looked economical and gave 28 runs in his 4 overs. Kyle Mills took 3 wickets from his 4 overs and gave 44 runs.
New Zealand needed 215 runs to win the match which was going to be difficult against a top-class bowling attack. Brendon McCullum and Stephen Fleming stepped out to the middle to chase the target and Brett Lee got the new ball in hand to open the attack. Both the openers gave a fantastic start to New Zealand and had made 49 runs for the 1 wicket partnership, then Kasprowicz got the first breakthrough for Australia in 5.1 overs. Stephen Fleming who was looking comfortable was sent back for 18 by Kasprowicz. Mathew Sinclair was also sent back in the very next ball. Two quick wickets in 2 balls brought the team in a critical situation but Scott Styris played his game free without having any pressure. Scott Styris scored 66 runs from just 39 balls but he did not get enough support from other batters and the entire team was bowled out at the score of 170 runs only. Michael Kasprowicz did a fabulous job in the match by taking 4 wickets and giving only 29 runs. Glenn McGrath took 2, and Brett Lee, James Hopes, Andrew Symonds got 1 wicket each.
Thus, Australia won their maiden T20 international match and Ricky Pointing was named as Man of the Match for his match-winning knock of not out 98 runs.
Match Result: Australia won by 44 runs. Australia 214/5, New Zealand 170 All out. Scorecard