cricket world



Posted by anccricket on May 16, 2010 at 10:10 PM


England secured their first victory at an ICC limited-overs tournament with a crushing seven-wicket win against Australia in the World Twenty20 final.

Australia slipped to 8-3 after being put in by Paul Collingwood but recovered to post a competitive 147-6, with David Hussey top-scoring on 59.

Craig Kieswetter (63) and Kevin Pietersen (47) took England to 118-1 but then fell in quick succession.

But Collingwood eased his side home with exactly three overs remaining.

It was a crushing win for England and delivered their first global trophy in the 35-year history of limited-overs competitions.

Andy Flower's side have reinvented themselves as a hugely dangerous outfit in the West Indies, and few could argue they are worthy winners after another hugely impressive display with bat and ball in Bridgetown.

Once again the bowling was tight and disciplined and the batting aggressive from the off. Indeed, it was rather out of character for England to win a game against Australia at such a canter.

Victory for Michael Clarke's side, who came into the tournament unseeded, would have given them a clean sweep of World Cup, Champions Trophy and Twenty20 titles.

But it was not to be as England continued to dominate in the Caribbean sunshine.

Much has been made of the international flavour of England's batting line-up but, just as had been the case against Sri Lanka in the semi-final, it was a thoroughly homegrown bowling attack that did the early damage for Collingwood's side.

Shane Watson, so often the bludgeon at the top of the Australia order, departed after only three balls when a wild edge off Ryan Sidebottom was parried by wicketkeeper Kieswetter and taken superbly on the rebound by Graeme Swann at slip.

Opening partner David Warner followed in the second over, run out by a diving Michael Lumb after captain Clarke called a suicidal single to cover.

And Australia were left flagging badly on 8-3 when Brad Haddin was given out caught down the leg-side to only the 13th delivery of the match - although replays showed the ball had clipped his hip.

Clarke and Hussey stemmed the tide but managed little else against the new ball. Indeed, a remarkable statistic of only two boundaries after seven overs told its own story.

The introduction of spin did little to alleviate the pressure and when Collingwood pulled off a truly sensational catch at mid-wicket to dismiss Clarke, the Aussies were literally scratching their heads in disbelief in the dugout.

But some big hitting from Hussey and Cameron White eventually saw the scoring burst into life when Michael Yardy was smashed for 21 in the 13th over and the pair continued to put on 50 from 37 balls.

White enjoyed something of a lifeline when Stuart Broad dropped a difficult chance when running back but the England bowler got his revenge by taking another difficult chance to hand Luke Wright his first wicket of the competition.

That brought Mike Hussey to the crease, fresh from his batting heroics in the semi-final against Pakistan, and some lusty blows from the two brothers boosted Australia in the latter overs.

David Hussey was run out with four balls to go in a tight final burst from Broad but 147-6 represented a fine recovery from Clarke's side after such a dreadful start.

England's hopes of a flying start were curtailed firstly when Lumb (2) chipped tamely to mid-on off Shaun Tait and secondly when a farcical problem with the sightscreen forced play to be suspended for 10 minutes.

Kieswetter had argued gaps in the electrical screens were making it hard to see the ball but when play finally resumed new batsman Pietersen certainly did not seem to share his concerns.

A series of rasping drives through the covers saw the pair put on 50 in quick time and reach the 100-partnership in only 62 balls.

But when Pietersen was caught at long-off trying to launch Steve Smith out of the ground and Kieswetter bowled comically by Mitchell Johnson leaving a straight one, England nerves began to flutter.

But Collingwood and Eoin Morgan made sure there was no late drama, sealing a superb win with 18 balls to spare.