England crowned T20 champs

England crowned T20 champs

England crowned T20 champs

England celebrate their victory in the World Twenty20 final over Australia in Bridgetown on Sunday. AFP

Despite being the birthplace of cricket, England have not been able to take a major ICC title home till now. But on a sunny Sunday at Barbados, Paul Collingwood’s bravehearts rectified that anomaly, grabbing the World T20 title beating Australia by seven wickets at the Kensington Oval here on Sunday.

After putting Australia into bat, England produced a disciplined effort to restrict the overwhelming favourites to a manageable 147 for six, and then hunted down the target in the most professional manner mustering 148 for three with three overs to spare.

By beating Australia in the final, England won their first- ever ICC title after finishing runners-up in three 50-over World Cups — in 1979, 1987 and 1992 — and Champions Trophy at home in 2004.

The foundation of the stunning victory was laid by two South African imports. Opening batsman Craig Krieswetter struck a sparkling 63 and added 111 runs for the second wicket with Kevin Pietersen off just 68 balls that blunted the much-vaunted Australian bowling attack, making them look like pedestrian. His explosive 49-ball innings was studded with seven fours and two sixes.

Pietersen made a valuable 31-ball 47 which had four boundaries and a six in it. The awesome pair brought the hitherto mighty Australians to their knees by stitching 111 runs from just 68 balls for the second wicket to set up the win for England.

Earlier, England produced a clinical bowling performance to restrict Australia to 147 for six, made possible mainly due to David Hussey’s 54-ball 59. Ryan Sidebottom’s two-wicket burst, accounting for Shane Watson and Brad Haddin, and the run- out of David Warner had reduced Australia to 8 for three.

Though they recovered through Hussey and Cameron White, it was not just enough to thwart England’s charge.