Australia and New Zealand played the first ever Twenty20 in international cricket on 17 February 2005 at Eden Park in Auckland. As many had expected, Australia won that game comfortably as the Australian side of 2005 was of an unbeatable nature. The Aussies won that match by 44 runs after scoring 214 runs in the first innings.
It was a very unique experiment, back then. The brain-child of the England Cricket Board, Twenty20 was first played as a competitive sport in 2003 in an inter-county competition in England. Later on, it garnered massive attention in commonwealth countries. It was a perfect time to introduce the shortest format of the game as the cricket fans were drifting more and more towards other sports and T20 made cricket more exciting than ever. Twenty20 had the flexibility of ending the game in three hours, which was new for a sport that had the reputation of going result-less even after five days.
But let’s talk about the first T20 game. Australia batted first, scored 214 runs and sent a message in the cricketing world that scoring with a run rate of more than 10 runs per over is going to be a normal thing. The Punter, Ricky Ponting missed his century by just two runs, Symonds walked in to bat at number three, Daryl Tuffey was hit for 50 runs in four overs, so the landscape of cricket was going to change and this match was a great reminder of how the things would be in the future.
When New Zealand came on to bat, Scott Styris scored 66 runs and was the highest scorer in the total of 170. This game paved way to a new beginning in cricket. The world started looking at T20 very differently. India won the first ever T2o World Cup in South Africa in September 2007 and that opened a huge window for advertisers in the sport. Cricket was capitalized and many leagues were formed around the world. But amid all this, it’s imperative to remember the first ever T20 that was played.