Victory tastes short and sweet as Collingwood gains T20 crown

Australia 147-6 England 148-3
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The Independent Online

England are the Twenty20 champions of the world. Defying all expectations, perhaps surprising themselves, they swept aside Australia in the World Twenty20 final yesterday by seven wickets. They had 18 balls still at their disposal when, fittingly, captain, Paul Collingwood, smote the winning run through mid-on. By any standards it was an old-fashioned hammering.

It was also, in many ways, a complete exhibition of the arts of the short form of the game, many of which England had already displayed in the previous two weeks. While it may not fully have compensated for decades of hurt inflicted by their oldest foe, it certainly made a few points.

Since inventing Twenty20 in 2003, England have been left floundering by countries who did it better and did it quicker. This past fortnight, in the third World Twenty20, they have made up for lost time and in defeating Australia – and all their four opponents before that so comprehensively – they deserved this triumph. In 34 years of trying, spanning 19 competitions, including four previous finals, this was the first time England had won. There were scenes of unbridled joy accompanied by disbelief inside the Kensington Oval, which had been awash with English flags all day.

In restricting the opposition score to 147 for 6 after deciding to field, England made themselves clear favourites. Equally, after their great escape against Pakistan on Friday, Australia must have thought anything was possible.

But after the early loss of Michael Lumb, the second-wicket pair of Craig Kieswetter and Kevin Pietersen shared an increasingly audacious partnership of 111 from 68 balls. There was, after they were both out, no question of the winners.

South Africans both, they may be, but at least they are England's South Africans. Kieswetter hit 63 from 49 balls with three sixes and seven fours and Pietersen, back to his magisterial best, 47 from 31, perishing in trying to strike his second six.

Maybe, maybe, the Aussies could pull another one out of the hat after Kieswetter, backing away to leg, allowed Mitchell Johnson a full view of his stumps of which he took full advantage. But Collingwood, the most improbable of men to lead England on this stage, decided that enough was enough. He finished the match in the 17th over with a hooked six, a pulled four and another boundary swiped through wide midwicket.

Whatever England imagined in their wildest dreams, it could not have been the start they engineered to this match. By the third over, Australia were 10 for 3 and in disarray. It was a position created by England's new-found power and belief. The trouble with this, of course, is that Australians tend to view this as a position of strength: what is the point of winning unless you have to dig yourself out of a huge hole first?

Their nerves had betrayed them initially. Shane Watson groped at the third ball of the match, a wide one from Ryan Sidebottom and edged high to the right of wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter. He could only parry the ball and it seemed the ball must fall to the ground before Graeme Swann at first slip dived low in front of him and plucked the ball from the air inches above the floor.

In the next over, Michael Clarke, Australia's captain, set off for a single after pushing the ball into the covers where Michael Lumb swooped low and beat David Warner with an accurate underarm throw.

England knew it must their day when Brad Haddin was adjudged caught behind by Kieswetter down the leg side. The ball looked to have got no nearer his bat than his thigh pad and he stood sufficiently long to pass on the information to the umpire, Billy Doctrove.

Australia consolidated – apprehensively at first – as they took singles that did not truly exist. Twice, England missed run-out chances. But when it seemed that Clarke – following a disappointing competition with the bat – might atone when it mattered, he was marvellously caught by Paul Collingwood, diving to his left at wide mid-on and adjusting his arms in flight. It was a catch that embodied all of England's superb out cricket in this tournament.

Still, Australia would not go quietly. They so rarely do. David Hussey played the anchor role for them and Cameron White, as he had been throughout the past two weeks, was all quiet, meaningful aggression. The 20 runs he scored of the 21 that came off Mike Yardy in the 13th over – two sixes and two fours – heralded the fightback.

When White went to yet another superb catch (how England's fielding has helped them to prosper) by Stuart Broad, running back from point in Luke Wright's only over of the tournament, there was still Mike Hussey. But there was no time for him to repeat his heroics of Friday. England were all too soon to be crowned as world champions.

Kensington Oval SCOREBOARD

ENGLAND v AUSTRALIA

England win by seven wickets

England won toss

AUSTRALIA

......... Runs......... 6s......... 4s......... Bls

S R Watson c Swann b Sidebottom......... 2......... 0......... 0......... 3

D A Warner run out......... 2......... 0......... 0......... 4

*M J Clarke c Collingwood b Swann......... 27......... 0......... 2......... 27

†B J Haddin c Kieswetter b Sidebottom......... 1......... 0......... 0......... 2

D J Hussey run out......... 59......... 2......... 2......... 54

C L White c Broad b Wright......... 30......... 1......... 4......... 19

M E K Hussey not out......... 17......... 0......... 2......... 10

S P D Smith not out......... 1......... 0......... 0......... 2

Extras (b 1,lb 2, w 4, nb 1)......... 8

Total (for 6, 20 overs)......... 147

Fall: 1-2, 2-7, 3-8, 4-45, 5-95, 6-142.

Did not bat: M G Johnson, S W Tait, D P Nannes.

Bowling: R J Sidebottom 4-0-26-2, T T Bresnan 4-0-35-0, S C J Broad 4-0-27-0, G P Swann 4-0-17-1, M H Yardy 3-0-34-0, L J Wright 1-0-5-1.

ENGLAND

......... Runs......... 6s......... 4s......... Bls

M J Lumb c Hussey b Tait......... 2......... 0......... 0......... 4

†C Kieswetter b Johnson......... 63......... 2......... 7......... 49

K P Pietersen c Warner b Smith......... 47......... 1......... 4......... 31

*P D Collingwood not out......... 12......... 1......... 1......... 5

E J G Morgan not out......... 15......... 1......... 0......... 13

Extras (lb 1, w 8)......... 9

Total (for 3, 17 overs)......... 148

Fall: 1-7, 2-118, 3-121.

Did not bat: L J Wright, T T Bresnan, M H Yardy, G P Swann, S C J Broad, R J Sidebottom.

Bowling: D P Nannes 4-0-29-0, S W Tait 3-0-28-1, M G Johnson 4-0-27-1, S P D Smith 3-0-21-1, S R Watson 3-0-42-0.

Umpires: A S Dar (Pak) & B R Doctrove.

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