Australia off to a winning start

Australian XI 170 for 2 (19.5 overs) (Hayden 79, Gilchrist 53) beat PCA Masters XI 167 for 6 (20 overs) (Maddy 70*, Ealham 39, Clarke 3-36) by eight wickets

Australia launched their tour of England with a comprehensive eight-wicket win against a PCA Master's XI at Arundel. Although they reached their target of 168 with a ball to spare, the result was never really in doubt after an opening stand of 131 between Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden.
Both batsmen got in some early practice, taking advantage of friendly bowling from the PCA XI and a fast outfield. Ricky Ponting sealed the win by hitting a six off the first ball of the last over and a four off the fifth.

Paul Collingwood managed to dismiss Hayden and Chris Tremlett accounted for Gilchrist but Australia scored freely. Devon Malcolm, 42, opened the bowling for the PCA XI and was dispatched for 38 in three overs.

Hayden was impressed with Tremlett, who had figures of 1 for 17 from his four overs. "There's some quality fast bowlers [in England]," he said. "We saw that today with Chris Tremlett. He is a huge bloke [6ft 7"] and I felt like a midget. I was playing for Hampshire with his old man Tim and I saw him as a young boy. It makes me feel a bit old at 33 to be honest."

Australia stamped their authority on the game from the first ball when Stephen Fleming edged Brett Lee to second slip, where Ponting held a sharp chance. Collingwood managed a useful 38 before he was the first victim in a Michael Clarke hat-trick.

Clarke then had Kevin Pietersen caught off a top-edged sweep and Graeme Swann was stumped first ball. Pietersen had come to the game fresh from trying to hit balls over the River Thames and was attempting a similar blow when he perished after five deliveries.

However, Darren Maddy, the leading run-scorer in the 2004 Twenty20 tournament, used his experience of the format to compile 70 and was aided by a quick-fire 39 off 25 balls from Mark Ealham.

This was a gentle introduction for Australia in a festival atmosphere, but a crowd of 11,000 will know they mean business. Their next stop in the build-up to Monday's Twenty20 game against England at Southampton is a match against Leicestershire on Saturday.

"We haven't played a great deal of it," Hayden said of Twenty20. "The England team have been a little bit more fortunate to see just how the game's come to life. We haven't had that opportunity yet but we are catching up slowly and we're enjoying it."