Leading article: Best for last

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The Independent Online

When England finally beat Australia in a cricket match 10 days ago, Sydney's Daily Telegraph came up with the headline: "Worst team in the world beats best team in the world".

Well, since then, the worst team in the world has beaten the best team on two more occasions. If this goes on much longer that particular newspaper may want to reconsider its rating system. But more significantly, England yesterday emerged triumphant in the Commonwealth Bank Series competition, beating Australia by 34 glorious runs in Sydney.

Make no mistake it was a sweet victory. It was the first time the Australians have lost their home one-day series in 14 years. The man of the match was Durham's Paul Collingwood, the target throughout the winter of some of the cruellest Australian sledging since Merv Hughes retired.

And England also had some help from the weather too. All in all, what could be more perfect?

Of course we now see that England were saving their best cricket for last. There were some, ahem, disappointing moments on the way for sure. But it never pays to look back. And now Andrew Flintoff's team of lions can go into the World Cup in the West Indies next month with confidence. And the indefatigable Barmy Army can book its tickets to the Caribbean with expectant pride.

Yes, everything is looking splendid in the world of English cricket. Just as long as no one is foolish enough to mention a certain small urn...