Monday, May 17, 2010

Clinical England thrash Aussies to win T20 crown

A clinical England thrashed favourites Australia by seven wickets yesterday to clinch the World Twenty20 title and end their 35-year wait for a global cricket trophy.

After winning the toss and opting to field first, their bowlers sent Australia crashing to eight for three in the third over of the Championship final before they recovered to make 147 for six off their 20 overs.

Chasing a moderate target, England's batsmen then dominated, making light work of the run-chase to reach 148 for three with three overs to spare at Kensington Oval.

They were led by the aggressive opener Craig Kieswetter, who smashed 63 from 49 balls to earn himself Man-of-the-Match honours, and Kevin Pietersen, who carved out a carefree 47 from 31 balls.

The duo staged a dashing 111-run stand for the second wicket off just 68 balls, which erased any chance Australia had of winning after they claimed Michael Lumb for two with the score on seven in the second over of the run-chase.

Earlier, Australia's recovery was made possible by David Hussey, who cracked 59 from 54 balls with two fours and two sixes, and Cameron White, whose 30 came from 19 balls and included four fours and a six.

They posted 50 for the fourth wicket before David Hussey was joined by his elder brother, Michael, in a partnership that yielded 47 runs for the sixth wicket. Mike Hussey finished on 17 not out from 10 balls.

The loss was Australia's first of the tournament after they played unbeaten throughout the preliminary phase and the Super Eights, second round.

Australia started disastrously when the prolific Shane Watson (2) was caught at slip off the third ball of the innings with the score on two. The right-hander top-edged a slash off left-armer Ryan Sidebottom to wicketkeeper Kieswetter, who parried the catch to Graeme Swann at slips.

In the next over, a costly misjudgement cost David Warner (2) his wicket as captain Michael Clarke called for a sharp single to cover, only for Michael Lumb's throw to find Warner short of his ground at the striker's end.

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