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When Strauss batted at seven and Australia were bowled out for 79 – remembering England men’s first T20I

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

How well do you remember the first time Australia played England in the summer of 2005?

No, the encounter wasn’t part of the Ashes – over a month before the first Test of the series at Lord’s, the two sides met at the Rose Bowl for a one-off T20I.

The shortest format was still in its infancy and while this was the England men’s side’s first-ever T20I, it turned out to be memorable for other reasons, too.

Four players that day played T20 cricket for the first time (note the missing I): from England, captain Michael Vaughan and Paul Collingwood; from Australia, Jason Gillespie and Matthew Hayden.

The England batting line-up that began the game doesn’t look too out of place early on – the power of Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen meant they came in at No.3 and 4 and yet scroll down to No.7 and you’ll find none other than Andrew Strauss. The left-hander – who made 18 off 16 balls – spent most of his England career as an opener and only batted below No.4 in three innings for his country. Such was the length of England’s batting line-up that Vikram Solanki came in at No.8.

Then came the bowling effort in which the stars of the show were somewhat unexpected. Seven wickets were shared between Darren Gough – coming to the end of his international career – and Jon Lewis, who played just one more T20I. Lewis removed Andrew Symonds, Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting for ducks and finished with figures of 4-24.

Australia were bowled out for just 79, which remains their lowest ever T20I score, and lost by 100 runs. For smashing 34 off just 18 balls and taking three catches, Kevin Pietersen, who five years later would be Player of the Tournament at the World T20, was named Man of the Match.

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