Australians set new record against England

England's miserable tour down under continued as Australia inflicted a humiliating 77-run Twenty20 defeat in Sydney.

Australia posted a new 20-over international record score of 221 for five in the process, surpassing their own previous best recorded against New Zealand by seven runs.

It was a far cry from the 2005 meeting between the teams at this form of the game, which ended in a thumping 100-run win for England at the Rose Bowl.

In an emphatic display of hitting the Aussies shared 14 sixes, five of them from Adam Gilchrist, who top-scored with 48.

By contrast England did not clear the ropes until the final over, with only returning captain Michael Vaughan, of the top order, taking command.

Matthew Hayden set the tone when he smashed his first delivery from James Anderson back down the ground for four.

Hayden's power hitting included three further boundaries in quick time, including the first six of the contest over midwicket off Anderson, before spiralling a catch to mid-off next ball.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who won the toss, wasted no time in finding the stands himself as he rocked back to pull a short ball from Andrew Flintoff over square-leg.

Flintoff thought he had his man in the same over when, moments after Australia's 50 had arrived, when Ponting skied to mid-on only for Jon Lewis to fluff the chance.

If Gilchrist was relatively slow out of the blocks, it did not take long for him to catch up as three consecutive sixes off Anderson gave the scoring rate an injection.

Vaughan, returning for the first time in 13 months to inherit the captaincy from Flintoff, turned to left-arm spinner Monty Panesar, wearing England's coloured clothing for the first time, to stem the scoring rate.

Although Gilchrist lofted him for the fourth of his five sixes, Panesar was soon producing his customary celebration jig.

Going for another huge hit which would have brought up his half-century, Gilchrist was defeated as the ball crashed into off-stump.

Mike Hussey's reverse sweep to the boundary next ball brought up three figures in just the ninth over.

Panesar finished with figures of two for 40, his second success coming when Hussey was lured out of his ground and 36-year-old wicketkeeper Paul Nixon, who became the oldest England debutant since John Childs in 1988, completed a neat stumping.

When Ponting offered Lewis a second chance, flicking a delivery from Paul Collingwood to deep square-leg having made 47 from only 26 deliveries, Australia's impetus stalled.

Michael Clarke was run out in the next over, the 15th, and England managed a few rare dot balls prior to some more beef from Andrew Symonds and Cameron White.

Twice in the final over by James Anderson, White located the stands, either side of being dropped by Kevin Pietersen at long-on.

If England were to stand any chance they required a sound start but Ed Joyce and Flintoff were both caught from miscues in the opening two overs.

And they lost their only other hitter of note when Pietersen perished to new boy Shane Harwood's direct hit from third man.

Australia even afforded Vaughan a life, caught off a Ben Hilfenhaus no-ball, but the Tasmanian accounted for Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell to finish with two for 16.

Vaughan provided a flashback to the 2002-03 Ashes when he rocked back to pull Harwood for four in typically classic manner, the first of four boundaries, but fell aiming a reverse sweep at Symonds' off-spin.

A stand of 49 between Nixon and Jamie Dalrymple ensured a modicum of respectability but the victory margin was all too familiar this Ashes winter.

Nixon drew ironic cheers from those left in the 36,000 crowd when he smashed Harwood's first ball of the final over through midwicket for six.

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