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Rediff.com  » Sports » Kieswetter is England's newest star

Kieswetter is England's newest star

May 17, 2010 00:57 IST

Craig KieswetterCraig Kieswetter stole the limelight after a cracking innings of 63 as England ended their title drought at ICC global events by crushing Australia by seven wickets to win the ICC World Twenty20 on Sunday.

- Scorecard

The 22-year-old Johannesburg-born wicketkeeper-batsman made the much-vaunted Australian bowling attack look pedestrian with an explosive 49-ball innings, laced with seven fours and two sixes, as England chased down the target of 148 with three overs to spare.

The South-African born duo of Kieswetter and Kevin Pietersen made sure they didn't let Australia back in the contest after the early dismissal of Michael Lumb (2).

The two batsmen added 111 runs in just 68 balls for the second wicket, with Pietersen hammering a 31-ball 47, inclusive of four boundaries and a six, to snuff out Australia's challenge.

Kieswetter also showed his utility with the gloves too, taking a brilliant catch, diving full length to his left on the leg side, to send back Brad Haddin off Sidebottom.

With the bat, he showed great purpose and never let his team loose the momentum in the middle overs. He was quick to target Australia's fifth bowler, Shane Watson, whom he smashed for back-to-back boundaries in his first over.

In Watson's next over, Kieswetter again went on the attack and slammed him for a six over midwicket followed by a boundary over thirdman region.

Dirk Nannes, who was Australia's best bowler in the tournament thus far, also suffered at the hands of Kieswetter. The right-hander hit him for three boundaries and a six to score 22 runs from the 16 balls he faced from the left-arm pace bowler.

In their barren years, England had lost thrice in World Cup finals, in 1979, 1987 and 1992, and were also defeated on home soil in the 2004 Champions Trophy final.

The English bowlers also played a major role in the victory, restricting Australia to 147 for six in their 20 overs, with Ryan Sidebottom claiming two for 26 and Graeme Swann taking one for 17 in his four overs.