Bridgetown: England won the Twenty20 World Cup in magnificent style with a 111-run partnership from South Africa-born batsmen Kevin Pietersen and Craig Kieswetter setting them up for a seven-wicket win over Australia on Sunday.
At a sun-blessed Kensington Oval, England restricted Australia to 147 for six before knocking off the runs with little trouble to claim their first world title in limited overs cricket after 35 years of trying.
Skipper Paul Collingwood struck the winning runs with 18 balls to spare and his team raced on to the field to hug him in scenes of wild celebration.
David Hussey’s intelligent 59 had helped Australia recover from a dreadful start where they lost their opening three wickets for just eight runs.
Australia, the current 50 overs World Cup and Champions Trophy holders, were searching for a unique treble of limited overs world titles.
Australia were favourites but England responded well to losing opener Michael Lumb early, as Pietersen and Kieswetter set about destroying Australia’s bowling.
Even when both lost their wickets, Eoin Morgan and Collingwood kept their nerve to see England to glory without any of their customary nerves.
In their barren years England lost three times in World Cup finals, in 1979, 1987 and 1992 and also were defeated on home soil in the 2004 Champions Trophy final.