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Memorable title triumph for England

JOY UNBOUND: England's cricketers converge on their captain, Paul Collingwood (second

JOY UNBOUND: England's cricketers converge on their captain, Paul Collingwood (second   | Photo Credit: — Photo: AFP

S. Dinakar

Kieswetter and Pietersen fashion a splendid chase to tame the Aussies

Bridgetown: Defying odds, England ambushed Australia by seven wickets to win its first title in an ICC Global event at the Kensington Oval here on Sunday.

Chasing 148, England outplayed Australia with three overs to spare to triumph in the ICC World Twenty20.

The side has been professional and was also ruthless.

The bowlers, led by left-arm paceman Ryan Sidebottom, set up the victory. Then intrepid opener Craig Kieswetter (63 off 49), who was declared ‘Man-of-The Match', and the inspiring Kevin Pietersen (47 off 31) took the match away from Australia with a 111-run partnership for the second wicket.

Both were dismissed late in the game but, by then, the verdict was not in doubt. Skipper Paul Collingwood and Eoin Morgan closed out the contest clinically. In a big game, the Aussie bowling and fielding wilted.

England was emotional in its celebrations.

Success straightaway

Australia had success straightaway when Michael Lumb, clipping Shaun Tait uppishly was held at mid-wicket. In walked Kevin Pietersen.

England regrouped. When Dirk Nannes bowled a fuller length, he was cover-driven and flicked for boundaries by the attacking and quick-footed Craig Kieswetter.

The free-stroking Kieswetter cashed in on fuller length deliveries; Tait was bravely driven over the covers.

Pietersen had his moment of uncertainty against the speedy Nannes. He created room on the off-side but found a yorker-length ball thudding into his pads. However, a cover-drive on the up against left-arm paceman Mitchell Johnson underlined his quality. The England total was 44 for one after the six Power Play overs.

Pietersen, settling down, was looking increasingly dangerous. He sashayed down the track to ease Johnson down the ground.

His batting has the rare blend of strong back-footed play, the ability to use his feet to shimmy down the pitch with wristy sub-continental flair. He simmers with aggression; wants to dominate. His cricket oozes belief and confidence.

So quickly do his feet move that the bowlers' length is disrupted. Consequently their line suffers. He is an Englishman with the attitude of an Aussie.

Gradually, the hunter became the hunted. The England zeroed in on Shane Watson, the weak link, with Kieswetter dismantling the Aussie paceman with strikes that were chancy but effective.

When Tait returned, Pietersen, his footwork precise, head still and balance perfect, smacked him over his head.

Thing of beauty

Pietersen's back-swing is a thing of beauty. Crucially, he was picking the length early and was ready with his response.

When Tait bowled a full-length scorcher, Pietersen, effortlessly, eased the ball over the long-off ropes. It was a stunning strike.

On a bright, sunny afternoon, England, perhaps influenced by the rousing Australian chase in the last-four duel against Pakistan, opted to field.

Key batsman Shane Watson slashed at a rising ball, angling across, from Sidebottom in the first over. The 'keeper Kieswetter could not latch on to the offering but Greame Swann was quick to pouch the deflection.

Australia was just 24 for three after the Power Play overs. England has contained and struck during an extremely important phase of the match.

Michael Clarke put a price on his wicket. The Australian captain is nimble-footed and his duel against off-spinner Swann made compelling viewing.

Booming strokes

Then the in-form Cameron White cut loose against Yardy with booming strokes over the straight field and the mid-wicket region. David Hussey earned a reprieve at 25 when Broad misjudged a skier at mid-on; Tim Bresnan was the bowler to suffer.

Broad, soon, held on to a looping ball when White (30 off 19) attempted to biff paceman Luke Wright.

David Hussey continued to torment England. And his brother, Miracle Man Michael Hussey, drove and flicked with a surgeon's precision.

David Hussey's enterprising innings (59 off 54 balls) in a pressure situation concluded when he was run out going for a second run in the final over.



Australia: S. Watson c Swann b Sidebottom 2 (3b), D. Warner (run out) 2 (4b), M. Clarke c Collingwood b Swann 27 (27b, 2x4), B. Haddin c Kieswetter b Sidebottom 1 (2b), D. Hussey (run out) 59 (54b, 2x4, 2x6), C. White c Broad b Wright 30 (19b, 4x4, 1x6), M. Hussey (not out) 17 (10b, 2x4), S. Smith (not out) 1 (2b); Extras (b-1, lb-2, nb-1, w-4): 8. Total (for six wickets in 20 overs): 147.

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

England bowling: Sidebottom 4-0-26-2, Bresnan 4-0-35-0, Broad 4-0-27-0, Swann 4-0-17-1, Yardy 3-0-34-0, Wright 1-0-5-1.

England: M. Lumb c D. Hussey b Tait 2 (4b), C. Kieswetter b Johnson 63 (49b, 7x4, 2x6), K. Pietersen c Warner b Smith 47 (31b, 4x4, 1x6), P. Collingwood (not out) 12 (5b, 1x4, 1x6), E. Morgan (not out) 15 (13b, 1x6); Extras (lb-1, w-8): 9. Total (for three wickets in 17 overs): 148.

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

Australia bowling: Nannes 4-0-29-0, Tait 3-0-28-1, Johnson 4-0-27-1, Smith 3-0-21-1, Watson 3-0-42-0 .

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