Gough and Lewis devastate Australia
England 179 for 8 (Collingwood 46) beat Australia 79 (Gillespie 24, Lewis 4-24, Gough 3-16) by 100 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Darren Gough and Jon Lewis destroyed the Australian top order in less than six overs as England skittled Australia for 79, to complete a 100-run win in the Twenty20 international at The Rose Bowl. The match appeared to be evenly balanced at the midpoint after England had reached 179 for 8, thanks to a well-paced innings from Paul Collingwood who made 46 from 26 balls.
But even Collingwood's boundary blitz in the final four overs was nothing compared to what came next, as the Ashes summer was launched in spectacular fashion. In an amazingly frenzied atmosphere, Australia's top seven batsmen fell in the space of 20 balls, for eight runs.
Gough rolled back the years and Lewis began his international career with a bang that could be heard all the way back in Brisbane. Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden had wasted no time in getting the Australians off to a rapid start, but the score was 23 for 0 after 2.3 overs when the madness set in.
Off consecutive deliveries, Gilchrist and Hayden both picked out Kevin Pietersen with top-edges, to leave Gough on a hat-trick for the second time in a week, following the one he completed against Hampshire. But Andrew Symonds survived the third ball - albeit via a nasty blow on the arm. Gough had the face of a man possessed and it didn't stop there.
Lewis was a surprise choice in this match, picked ahead of Kabir Ali and Simon Jones, but he repaid the selector's faith - with interest. He had the benefit of a dubious umpiring decision when Michael Clarke appeared to clip his pad with his bat. However, there was nothing lucky about his next three victims, as the Australian batsmen continued to hit the ball in the air.
Symonds, who was billed as a match-winner, spooned his second ball to Pietersen who appeared to be everywhere that an Australian looked. England caught everything that came their way as Andrew Flintoff and Marcus Trescothick snapped up a slip catch each. As each batsmen returned to the dug-out - there is nothing as dull as a pavilion in Twenty20 - their faces became more bemused. There was plenty of time for the likes of Ponting and Martyn to fill their boots - but England simply wouldn't let them.
Steve Harmison finally got his hand on the ball, and worked up a decent head of steam. The tail wagged, with Jason Gillespie unfurling a rarely seen hook shot, but, for once, England knew they had the game in the bag. There was time for Flintoff to make his mark - on Brett Lee's helmet - with a fierce bouncer, and lay down one of many challenges for the months ahead.
"It's not the ideal start for us," Ponting told AFP. "Not much went right. We got behind in our overs so we had to rush everything through from there."
Ponting said the batting was "very ordinary". "Every time it went in the air it went straight to a fielder and there were some poor shots mixed in there as well for us," he said. "It was a pretty ordinary day for us. England just outplayed us everywhere."
The mid-innings talk was whether England's total was a decent score at The Rose Bowl, where the average first-innings total in Hampshire matches is 153. Collingwood's innings was a gem as he enabled England to reach 179 for 8. A mini-slump had threatened to waste an 18-ball dash from Kevin Pietersen who gave a further glimpse of his awesome power.
Collingwood refused to panic when he came in after Michael Vaughan had chipped a first-ball catch to midwicket (102 for 4). He sensibly took a moment to catch his breath before launching an array of boundaries that few people thought he had in him.
He took advantage of a strange decision from Ricky Ponting to remove his part-time spinners - Symonds and Clarke - who had taken three wickets between them after England's hundred came up in the 11th over. Symonds bowled three overs for 14, but Collingwood enjoyed the extra pace from Glenn McGrath and Gillespie, adding 49 with Andrew Strauss.
The start of the innings had suggested a boundary-filled match as Geraint Jones gave England a useful start, taking a liking to Lee's second over from which he thumped 14 runs. Lee touched 95mph but nearly lost his head when Jones rifled a drive straight back down the ground.
After Pietersen fell, the ball proved much harder to get away as the pace was taken off. Trescothick, who had been playing as much of an anchor role as is possible in this form of the game, then located deep square-leg in Symonds' next over - a foot either way and it would have been six (109 for 5).
In between Trescothick's accumulation and Pietersen's acceleration Flintoff lasted five balls before he was caught at midwicket by Symonds as he tried to go over the top against Michael Kasprowicz (49 for 2).
The groans at Flintoff's dismissal turned into cheers for the Collingwood-led recovery. They were still ringing around the ground when England started bowling and reached a whole new level as the Australian batting was blown away.
"It's nice to win, nice to beat Australia, but I wouldn't read too much into a Twenty20 victory," Vaughan said. "We're delighted to have won but we realise a 50-over contest is totally different to a Twenty20 contest and a five-day contest is totally different to one-day cricket. They are going to have stages when they are on top of us this summer and that will be the real test for the team."
It was all quite breathless stuff really and anyone could be forgiven for getting a tad on the giddy side. If the rest of the summer is going to be like this, it should carry a health warning.
Andrew McGlashan is editorial assistant of Cricinfo