Twenty20 International, Rose Bowl
England 179-8 beat Australia 79 by 100 runs
England unexpectedly gave Australia a Twenty20 thrashing, racing to a 100-run win at the Rose Bowl to start their Ashes summer in the best possible way.
Jon Lewis and Darren Gough excelled with the ball after Paul Collingwood had produced the goods with the bat.
England totalled 179-8 with Collingwood (46), Marcus Trescothick (41) and Kevin Pietersen (34) all contributing well.
Australia then lost their first four wickets in only seven balls, ending all out for a paltry 79 in just 14.3 overs.
It was the second-lowest Twenty20 total struck in England, ahead of the 67 Sussex made against Hampshire last year.
Michael Vaughan won the toss and chose to bat first as the two sides met for the first time ahead of the one-day series and the five Tests later in the summer.
England persisted with the tactic of using Geraint Jones as an opener, and for once it paid off as the Kent wicket-keeper thrashed four early boundaries.
After he was caught at third man off Glenn McGrath, Australia had the bonus of removing Andrew Flintoff cheaply when Michael Kasprowicz had him caught at short mid-wicket.
England needed a partnership quickly, and it was provided by Pietersen and Trescothick who added 51 in 30 balls with some brilliant hitting.
It brought the crowd to life, and Australia's fielding began to wilt, notably when Michael Clarke misfielded on the boundary to give Pietersen his first four.
The introduction of the spinners brought about the demise of both batsmen however as they swatted catches to fielders in the deep, and inevitably the scoring rate began to dwindle.
But then Collingwood, initially in a 49-run partnership with Andrew Strauss, produced a delightful blend of nurdling and slogging.
His runs came off just 26 balls and included two sixes and five fours.
McGrath returned to remove him with the last ball of the innings in figures of 3-31, but it was little consolation.
Brett Lee is left flat on his back after taking evasive action
Australia's reply was in fine shape when they reached 23-0 after two-and-a-half overs.
But once Gough had Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden caught slogging off consecutive deliveries, the tourists fell apart.
Lewis responded with two wickets of his own in the following over and suddenly four wickets had fallen in seven balls, with Pietersen, who was later named man-of-the-match, claiming three catches.
Everything was going right for the hosts - Flintoff and Trescothick each held catches in the floating slip position as Michael Hussey and Damien Martyn barely troubled the scorers.
But the real killer for the Aussies came between those wickets when Ricky Ponting drove a catch to short extra-cover as Lewis' amazing debut continued.
When the dust had settled, the scoreboard read 31-7 and it was only the sixth over.
There was time for Jason Gillespie to produce the best Australian innings - his four boundaries producing 24 runs in all - before Collingwood, who could do no wrong, came on to remove both him and Brett Lee.
It all ended in the best possible way for the England fans crammed into the Hampshire ground as Steve Harmison removed McGrath's middle stump with more than five overs remaining.
England: Marcus Trescothick, Geraint Jones, Michael Vaughan, Andrew Strauss, Andrew Flintoff, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Vikram Solanki, Jon Lewis, Darren Gough, Steve Harmison.
Australia: Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Andrew Symonds, Michael Clarke, Mike Hussey, Ricky Ponting, Damien Martyn, Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie, Mike Kasprowicz, Glenn McGrath.