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England mauled at the SCG

Australia thrashed England by 77 runs Tuesday after setting a record target for a Twenty20 international in the shortest version of cricket, just four days after completing a 5-0 Ashes series sweep in the traditional game.

Adam Gilchrist clubbed five sixes in his 48 and shared a 69-run second-wicket stand with skipper Ricky Ponting that propelled Australia to a record 221 in a Twenty20 international.

Michael Vaughan, returning as England skipper after missing the Ashes series with a knee injury, held the top of the innings together before he was out for 27 and the tourists slumped to 54 for four.

Paul Nixon (not out 31) and Jamie Dalrymple (32) combined in a 49-run seventh-wicket stand to help England recover to 144 for nine.

"It's good to be back. I'd have liked a win, but ... they're a powerful team," Vaughan said. "We didn't get off to a good start, but it was always going to be a tall order with that target."

Jon Lewis' was the most costly of the four missed catches, dropping Ponting at mid-on for 16. Ponting went on to make 47 from 26 balls before Lewis caught him behind square leg off Paul Collingwood's bowling.

Opener Matthew Hayden set the Australians in motion, hitting 20 from eight balls at the top of the order while Gilchrist, who initially struggled against Andrew Flintoff, plundered 48 from 28 balls.

Gilchrist's innings contained two boundaries and five massive sixes, including three off consecutive balls from one James Anderson over that netted Australia 21 runs.

Cameron White finished unbeaten on 40 with four sixes and a four and shared a 66-run sixth-wicket stand in 5.4 overs with Andrew Symonds, who was not out 39.

England lost wickets in the first and second overs in reply.

Nathan Bracken dismissed Ed Joyce for one in the first over and Shane Harwood had Flintoff out for a duck in the second over.

Harwood ran out Kevin Pietersen for 11 with a direct hit from out near the boundary after Pietersen turned a Nathan Bracken ball behind square and attempted a second run, making the tourists 32 for three after 4.1 overs and virtually ending the run chase.

It was only the second Twenty20 international played in Australia, following the 95-run win by the Australians over South Africa in Brisbane last year.

England and Australia meet again Friday in the opening match of the limited-overs tri-series that also involves New Zealand.

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