Monday, November 29, 1999

England outclass Australia to win World Twenty20

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Bridgetown (Barbados), May 17 (IANS) England produced an all-round performance as they outclassed Australia by seven wickets to win the World Twenty20 for their first major world title, at the Kensington Oval here Sunday.Young Craig Kieswetter (63 off 49 balls) and experienced Kevin Pietersen (47 off 31 balls) gave a powerful performance with the bat as England coasted to the 148 run target with three overs to spare.England bowlers set the match for them as Australia lost three wickets with only eight runs on the board.Paceman Ryan Sidebottom (2-26) bowled an impressive spell to remove Shane Watson and Brad Haddin while dangerous David Warner was run out.Collingwood then took a brilliant catch to remove Michael Clarke (27) off spinner Graeme Swann, who gave only 17 runs in four overs.Australia soon found themselves in deep trouble with four for 45 before David Hussey (59) and Cameron White (30) steadied the innings.Both Australia and England were battling for their first World Twenty20 title. But the title victory was more significant for England who never won a major world title before.England were the favourites going into the match, having emerged as the most in-form team in the tournament. They lost their first match against West Indies, but it was more to do with the Duckworth/Lewis calculation than their own performance. Since that match England have been unbeaten.It was not an England side that would falter at big matches or panic at the sight of victory. The only time when they looked bit vulnerable in the final Sunday was when they lost Pietersen and Kieswetter in quick succession and Australia, with their strong line of fast bowlers and an equally impressive leg spinner in Steven Smith, licked their lips in anticipation.But a defiant Collingwood (12) and their new batting star Eoin Morgan (15) showed no nerves as they took their team home.After Morgan hit a six off Smith, Collingwood pulled Shane Watson for his customary six over mid-wicket to bring the margin down to five from 20 balls. He hit one four in the same over before taking a single to spark celebration in the English camp.Collinwgood, who has been exceptional with his captaincy throughout this tournament, said they were confident of pulling off the victory.'We have to keep going from here. We will enjoy every moment of it and then keep working as a team.' said Collingwood.The new-found confidence in their game saw them through the final match.Pietersen, who has been the star batsman for the team, hit four fours and one six in his 49-ball innings. He held the innings and allowed Kieswetter to play his strokes.Together they added 111 runs after the early fall of Michael Lumb (2) Kieswetter, who has been impressive throughout the tournament, struck seven fours and two sixes.Earlier, It was England's bowling and brilliant fielding upfront that broke Australia's back. Collingwood decided to bat after winning the toss and the bowlers backed the decision of their captain.Sidebotton bowled with fire to wreck the top order and the fragile Australian middle-order cracked. David Hussey then brought Australia back into the match. He and White added 50 runs for the fifth wicket in quick time to put up a fighting total of 147 for five.

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