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Who would have predicted that: How Ricky Ponting's 98* in first-ever T20 International saved T20 cricket

Australia's Ricky Ponting

In our feature series - Who would have predicted that? – we are looking back at matches where there were big upsets or extraordinary individual performances that turned matches on their head.


It was not the best advert for T20 cricket when Adam Gilchrist, Michael Clarke and Damien Martyn were all dismissed cheaply in the first-ever T20 International played between New Zealand and Australia at the Eden Park in Auckland. Ricky Ponting then enthralled the spectators with a stroke-filled 98 not out. Even if you were having a go on CaptainGambling you never would have predicted that, at 54-4, Australia would have reached a total of 214-5 off their allotted 20 overs.


Match Summary


Australia 214/5 (20 overs) - Ricky Ponting 98* (55), Andrew Symonds 32 (13); Kyle Mills 3/44 (4), Chris Cairns 1/28 (4)


New Zealand 170 (20 overs) - Scott Styris 66 (39), Brendon McCullum 36 (24); Michael Kasprowicz 4/29 (4), Glenn McGrath 2/48 (4)


Result - Australia won by 44 runs


Almost everyone was shooting in the dark as there was little knowledge about the new format that cricket was experimenting with. Australia and New Zealand were the trailblazers as they agreed to play the first-ever T20I match in February, 2005 at Auckland.


Although Australia had raced to 54 by the end of 5 overs, they lost 4 wickets and were staring at an early fold up. Skipper Ricky Ponting then arrived at the scene and enthralled the audience with exquisite cover drives and swivel pulls, including four sixes in a single over. Ponting scored an unbeaten 98 off 55 deliveries at a strike rate of almost 180 as Australia posted 214 on the board.


Fall of wickets: 1-10 (Michael Clarke, 0.6 ov), 2-21 (Adam Gilchrist, 1.5 ov), 3-46 (Andrew Symonds, 3.6 ov), 4-54 (Damien Martyn, 5.1 ov), 5-137 (Simon Katich, 14.3 ov)


Brendon McCullum, one of the pioneers of T20 cricket, was very much present at the time of its inception. The New Zealand opener scored 36 at a strike rate of 150.


But, it was Scott Styris who top scored for the Kiwis with a 39-ball 66, including 5 fours and 3 sixes. Although New Zealand lost by 44 runs, the match was not about winning or losing. It was played to mark the beginning of a new format and did the job exceptionally well.


Ponting, who received the Man of the Match award, could have become the first batsman to score a T20I century had he scored two more runs. But then again, it wasn't about that.


Fall of wickets: 1-49 (Stephen Fleming, 5.1 ov), 2-49 (Mathew Sinclair, 5.2 ov), 3-67 (Brendon McCullum, 7.2 ov), 4-93 (Craig McMillan, 10.2 ov), 5-95 (Chris Cairns, 11.1 ov), 6-105 (Hamish Marshall, 12.4 ov), 7-121 (Andre Adams, 14.4 ov), 8-161 (Scott Styris, 18.6 ov), 9-165 (Jeff Wilson, 19.3 ov), 10-170 (Kyle Mills, 19.6 ov)




New Zealand - Brendon McCullum (wk), Stephen Fleming (c), Mathew Sinclair, Scott Styris, Craig McMillan, Chris Cairns, Hamish Marshall, Andre Adams, Jeff Wilson, Kyle Mills, Daryl Tuffey 


Australia - Adam Gilchrist (wk), Michael Clarke, Andrew Symonds, Ricky Ponting (c), Damien Martyn, Simon Katich, Michael Hussey, James Hopes, Brett Lee, Michael Kasprowicz, Glenn McGrath


Match Details


Match: NZ v AUS, Only T20I, Australia in New Zealand T20I Match, 2005 

Date: Thursday, February 17, 2005 

Toss: Australia won the toss and decided to bat 

Venue: Eden Park, Auckland 

Umpires: Billy Bowden, Tony Hill 

Third Umpire: Doug Cowie 

Match Referee: Clive Lloyd 


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