Kiwis feel Ponting's force
Ricky Ponting led by example scoring 98 runns as Australia trounced New Zealand to win the first-ever Twenty20 international in Auckland.
Ricky Ponting led by example as Australia trounced New Zealand to win the first-ever Twenty20 international in Auckland.
Ponting smashed an unbeaten 98 off 55 balls - including five sixes and eight fours - as he propelled his side to 214 for five off their 20 overs.
Although Scott Styris hit 66 in response, New Zealand could only reach 170 all out in their 20 overs - giving Australia victory by 44 runs.
There were a few hair-raising moments at Eden Park, not least the Afro haircut sported by New Zealand batsman Hamish Marshall.
Marshall's hairdo and some of the facial hair grown by his Black Caps team-mates, along with their retro 1980s beige uniforms, added further glamour for the 29,000 fans which packed the stadium.
But aside from the questionable fashion statements, the first Twenty20 international delivered much of what it had promised: big-hitting, entertaining cricket.
Ponting led the Australian charge with the bat, and Michael Kasprowicz then did the damage with the ball for the visitors, as he took four for 29 in his four overs to seal a convincing triumph.
Kasprowicz got the prized wickets of Black Caps skipper Stephen Fleming (18) and Mathew Sinclair (0) with his first two balls.
He later added Brendon McCullum (36) and Chris Cairns (1) to his tally to leave New Zealand struggling on 95 for five.
Only Styris showed any resistance, bringing up his half-century with a four off Andrew Symonds before being clean bowled by the express pace of Brett Lee for 66 to leave New Zealand on 161 for eight.
It was never going to be enough and when Daryl Tuffey was dismissed for five, New Zealand were all out.
Earlier, captain Ponting shared in two valuable stands, one worth 83 with Simon Katich (30) for the fifth wicket, and the other an unbroken 77 with Mike Hussey (31 not out).
Kyle Mills was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers, conceding 44 runs for his three wickets. But the most economical was Chris Cairns with one for 28.
It was a less happy night for Jeff Wilson, who took some punishment from Ponting, as he conceded 43 runs from his four-over spell.