Kieswetter takes England to Twenty20 glory
Craig Kieswetter and Kevin Pietersen powered England to their first ICC global title with an irresistible 111-run stand for the second wicket, as Australia were outmuscled in a battle of the bowlers at Bridgetown. Despite a brave recovery led by David Hussey, who made 59 from 54 balls, Australia's hopes of claiming the only world title to have eluded them were devastated from the moment they lost three wickets in 13 legitimate deliveries in a stunning start to the contest.
Chasing a target of 148, Kieswetter and Pietersen broke the back of the chase in an 11-over alliance, but fittingly it was left to England's captain, Paul Collingwood, to seal the victory with 18 balls to spare. At the moment of victory, he was mobbed by his jubilant team-mates as they poured out of the dug-out, with incredulity and triumph writ large on their features.
Kieswetter - who was at his happiest with the ball pitched up in his half - cracked Dirk Nannes for consecutive fours. He added a third four when Shaun Tait overpitched in his subsequent over, and with Pietersen looking typically busy at the crease, England reached a healthy 41 for 1 in their Powerplay, a position that was comfortably ahead of Australia's 24 for 3 at the same stage.
With their platform secure, England never looked like faltering. The legspinner Steven Smith was nailed through the covers for Pietersen's third boundary, before Kieswetter collected consecutive fours in Watson's first over - the first a touch fortuitously as David Hussey fumbled at mid-off. Clarke had no choice but to recall Mitchell Johnson for his third over, and though he stemmed the flow a touch, Watson's medium pace was meat and drink for the now pumped-up Kieswetter, who mowed a massive six over midwicket in an over that leaked 16 runs.
Back came Tait with Australia desperate for a wicket, but Pietersen met him with an imperious lofted drive over mid-on for four, before opening his stance to drive a glorious six over extra cover, and take the required rate down below a run a ball. Two balls later, Kieswetter dabbed a wide ball through point to bring up a 40-ball fifty, and celebrated by slashing Nannes for four through third man before belting an astonishing one-handed six over square leg. The writing was on the wall for Australia, and they sank to a seven-wicket defeat.