The home of cricket in London has finally got a display for their empty cabinets - a glittering World Twenty20 trophy. England ended their long wait for a world title with a commanding seven-wicket win over Ashes rivals Australia in Barbados last night, as virtually every one of Paul Collingwood's determined squad turned up with his best game at the Kensington Oval.
Ryan Sidebottom took a wicket in each of his first two overs; Michael Lumb did not get many with the bat, but he did run out David Warner back with a direct hit. Graeme Swann teased the batsmen with his loop and turn, while Luke Wright got the prized wicket of Cameron White in his first over of the tournament. Collingwood took an exceptional catch and marshalled his resources admirably. Those combined efforts in the field allowed Australia to get just 147 for six from their 20 overs.
Craig Kieswetter (63) and Kevin Pietersen (47) then made that target look like a stroll with some breathtaking shots in a 111-run partnership for the second wicket. Collingwood finished the game off with a six and two fours in the 17th over. Orthodox shots did it for England, with many of the mighty, straight-bat whacks landing in the stands. Pietersen's adventurous innings did not last until the end, as he hoisted Steven Smith to long-off.
But England were in control at that moment with only 30 runs needed from 41 balls. Kieswetter followed after an ungainly dismissal, but Collingwood and Eoin Morgan finished the job that Sidebottom had started with a wicket off the third delivery of the game, a precious one of Shane Watson. Warner, the other opener, followed in the next over, trying for a quick single; Lumb's direct hit caught him short of the striker's crease.
Two balls later, Australia were three down for eight after an unfortunate Brad Haddin was adjudged caught behind down the leg side. Kieswetter took a great catch, but the ball had probably brushed the batsman's hip. At the end of the powerplay, just 24 runs were on the board and before the mid-way mark, Australia had lost their captain as well with 45 on the board. The credit for Clarke's dismissal belonged as much to Collingwood's brilliant, airborne catch at straight midwicket as Swann's enticing loop.
Australia had their backs to the wall at that stage, just like the semi-final against Pakistan when they had come back from the death to triumph, and once again Cameron White led their revival. He and David Hussey brought their clubs out and waded into the England attack and hit 21 runs came from one Michael Yardy over. In the midst of the counter-offensive, England committed their only blemish on the field - Stuart Broad missed a Hussey skier at mid-on. But he made amends almost immediately. To break the threatening partnership, Collingwood turned to Wright, who had not bowled in the tournament yet, and decision proved a masterstroke.
White took a massive swipe at the fourth ball of the over and three England fielders were converging under the ball, but Broad, running backwards, called it and took the catch for a crucial breakthrough. While White (30) was at the crease, 50 runs were scored in 6.2 overs. In the 4.2 overs after his dismissal, the Hussey brothers helped add 52 more to give the Australia bowlers a fair total to bowl at. But England's South Africa-born duo of Kieswetter and Pietersen did not let their bowlers' effort go in vain. * Compiled by Ahmed Rizvi
Australia: Shane Watson c Swann b Sidebottom 2 David Warner run out (Lumb) 2 Michael Clarke c Collingwood b Swann 27 Brad Haddin c Kieswetter b Sidebottom 1 David Hussey run out (Wright/Kieswetter) 59 Cameron White c Broad b Wright 30 Mike Hussey not out 17 Steven Smith not out 1 Extras (b 1, lb 2, w 4, nb 1) 8 Total (for six wickets in 20 overs) 147 Fall of wickets: 1-2 (Watson), 2-7 (Warner), 3-8 (Haddin), 4-45 (Clarke), 5-95 (White), 6-142 (David) Bowling: Ryan Sidebottom 4-0-26-2 Tim Bresnan 4-0-35-0 Stuart Broad 4-0-27-0 Graeme Swann 4-0-17-1 Michael Yardy 3-0-34-0 Luke Wright 1-0-5-1
England: Michael Lumb c David b Tait 2 Craaig Kieswetter b Johnson 63 Kevin Pietersen c Warner b Smith 47 Paul Collingwood not out 12 Eoin Morga not out 15 Extras (lb 1, w 8) 9 Total (for three wickets in 17 overs) 148 Fall of wickets: 1-7 (Lumb), 2-118 (Pietersen), 3-121 (Kieswetter) Bowling: Dirk Nannes 4-0-29-0 Shaun Tait 3-0-28-1 Mitchell Johnson 4-0-27-1 Steven Smith 3-0-21-1 Shane Watson 3-0-42-0