February 17th: On this day in the year 2005, something very significant happened in the world of cricket, that changed the face of the game as we know today.
The first ever international T20 cricket was played between Australia and New Zealand. It was played at the Eden park in Auckland, Australia. Before this match was actually played, T20 cricket was still something that was looked at sceptically by everyone. Nobody actually took this format of the game seriously. It was felt like this format of the game was inferior to Test cricket and ODI’s and that it was bound to be a huge flop. This format of the game was almost like a holiday for the players compared to the longer and more gruelling ODIs and Test matches. When the match started, none of the players in either team were accustomed to playing in this format of the game, and batsmen used orthodox and proper shots instead to swinging the bat like it was baseball.
Australia won the toss and chose to bat. The man of the match and the highest scorer of this match was Ricky Pointing, who scored 98 runs from 55 balls. Australia posted a score of 214/5 in 20 overs.
New Zealand began batting, it soon became clear that the score of 215 was beyond them, they lost regular wickets and despite a commendable 66 by SB Stryis in 39 balls, they fell short by 44 runs.
Australia won the match by 44 runs, despite this, the Australian captain Ricky Pointing was sceptical of this format of the game. He said after the match “I think it is difficult to play seriously,” But he added: “If it does become an international game then I’m sure the novelty won’t be there all the time.”
As it turns out, he was right .T20 cricket has proved to be an integral part of the game today and the most popular format in today’s game. T20 cricket is always followed by much fanfare and enthusiasm everywhere.
Below are the scorecards for the match.