February 17, 2005, Auckland.
Not only the first ever T20 between the two Trans-Tasman neighbours but the first ever men’s international to be played in the format. The first ever T20 international was played between England and New Zealand women’s teams in Hove on 5 August, 2004.
On the format’s international debut for men, Australia won by 44 runs at Eden Park after making 214-5 in their 20 overs.
Captain Ricky Ponting top-scored with an unbeaten 98 off 55 balls with eight fours and five sixes. Michael Kasprowicz then took 4-29 to steer the Australians to victory despite a fighting 66 by Scott Styris.
Ponting recalled a few years back that there was a feeling that it was all a promotional event but his 98* was stroke filled as ever and remained the highest individual score till Chris Gayle’s century in the 2007 World T20.
The debut of the format, however, was not the serious, money-making giant it was to become over the next decade.
Both teams played in retro gear with some players sporting moustaches, beards and hairstyles popular in the 1980s. New Zealand batsman Stephen Fleming’s moustache was described as a “fat slug”.
“There’s obviously still a lot of work to do in terms of the marketing and where it fits into…