A well deserved Twenty20 triumph!

England Twenty20 captain, Paul Collingwood, is all smiles as he poses with the World Twenty20 trophy following his side's 7 wicket win against Australia on May 16th 2010.  This is an image England fans have been waiting for since 'world' limited overs events began in the 1970s.  England had not reached a limited overs final since the Champions' Trophy in 2005 when they lost to West Indies on home soil.

However, this win was, in many ways more deserved than any other.  For the first time since the World Cup of 1992 England looked a class outfit.  Defeat to West Indies in their opening game on the contraversial (in Twenty20 terms at least) Duckworth-Lewis method and a patchy performance against Ireland (saved only by the Guyana rain) were soon forgotten by the Super 8 stage.  Three straight wins against Pakistan, New Zealand and South Africa saw them qualify emphatically for the semi-final stage where they went on to crush Sri Lanka.  Again, for the first time since 1992 England started a limited overs final as favourites. But this time England of old were locked in the pavilion and a new ressurgent force emerged to thoroughly outplay the Australians in every aspect of the game.

So what can this new success be attributed to? Well, put simply, England has picked a Twenty20 side. Coach Andy Flower and his backroom staff have had the best talents at their disposal and helped shape a team which looked confident.  In the batting department, Kevin Pietersen was a revelation, returning to form in emphatic style despite flying home for the birth of his son, and returning.  Michael Lumb and Craig Kieswetter have the makings of a very solid opening partnership, but perhaps the trump card has been Eoin Morgan.  The Irish-born number 5 has evolved into a truly world-class batsman capable of playing shots that even Sri Lanka's Dilshan would be proud of! The bowlers too have performed well. Graeme Swann again proved his class finishing as England's highest wicket taker. Ryan Sidebottom also confounded the critics by successfully keeping the in-form Jimmy Anderson out of the side for the entire tournament and Stuart Broad and Michael Yardy both chipped in with key performances.

So what now? Well, a test series against Bangladesh is due to begin on 27th May and with Pakistan visiting later this summer a successful run is vital if England are to retain the Ashes.


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