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England target first trophy at ICC World Twenty20

ICC World Twenty20 final
Venue: Kensington Oval, Barbados Date: Sunday, 16 May (1630 BST)
Coverage: Live ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC 5 live, BBC Radio 4 LW and BBC Sport website (UK only, from 1600 BST); live text commentary and report on the BBC Sport website & mobiles

Paul Collingwood (left) and Michael Clarke
Captains Collingwood and Clarke have steered their teams to the final

England's cricketers will be seeking to end 35 years of hurt when they take on old foes Australia in the ICC World Twenty20 final in Barbados on Sunday.

England are the only one of eight major international sides not to have won an ICC tournament - a miserable run dating back to the first World Cup in 1975.

Coach Andy Flower is likely to keep faith in the side which thrashed Sri Lanka in the semi-final in St Lucia.

Australia reached the final with a stunning victory over Pakistan.

England's success has been founded on a potent combination of powerful hitting and tight bowling.

Craig Kieswetter and Michael Lumb have proved an inspired opening combination, with Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan both in imperious form in the middle order.

In the bowling department, Ryan Sidebottom and Stuart Broad have fully justified their selections ahead of James Anderson, while all-rounder Tim Bresnan has chipped in with crucial wickets and runs.


England have been on the brink of silverware before. They reached the World Cup finals in 1979, 1987 and 1992, and the Champions Trophy final in 2004, losing on each occasion.

And opponents do not come much tougher than four-time World Cup winners Australia, who are in buoyant mood after their thrilling semi-final win over Pakistan.

Mike Hussey struck 60 from 24 balls as Australia overhauled their opponents' massive total of 191-6 with a ball to spare.

"We take a lot of confidence going into Barbados," said Australia captain Michael Clarke.

"Our mindset, after what Huss showed here, is that we are just never beaten until the game is over.

"It is going to be a wonderful final. England are playing very good cricket and we've come off one of the best wins of our career.

"I love playing against England, but we're just going to have to be at our best."

Conditions at the Kensington Oval could favour the Australians with the bouncy pitch likely to suit their pace trio of Shaun Tait, Dirk Nannes and Mitchell Johnson, who were less effective on the more sluggish St Lucia track.

But with England's batting unit functioning so well, Pakistan coach Waqar Younis thinks the final is too close to call.

"It's going to be a very, very good game," he said. "They are both playing really well. England are on top of their form. It's just a matter of holding your nerve in the final.

"But the way Australia played here, they are very dangerous. When you have such momentum with you it's always handy.

"They played like champions. They haven't won the Twenty20 yet, but this is their opportunity - and I think they're going to come really hard at the English team.

"But I can't really say England are out of it, because they are playing superbly."

England (probable): Michael Lumb, Craig Kieswetter (wk), Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood (capt), Eoin Morgan, Luke Wright, Tim Bresnan, Michael Yardy, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Ryan Sidebottom.

Australia (probable): David Warner, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (capt), Brad Haddin (wk), David Hussey, Cameron White, Mike Hussey, Steve Smith, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Tait, Dirk Nannes.

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see also
Aussies stun Pakistan in thriller
14 May 10 |  Cricket
Jonathan Agnew column
14 May 10 |  Cricket
Clarke praises 'freakish' Hussey
14 May 10 |  Cricket
Collingwood wants Australia final
13 May 10 |  England
Classy England cruise into final
13 May 10 |  England
Jonathan Agnew column
13 May 10 |  England
England defeat Kiwis to top group
10 May 10 |  England
Dynamic England beat South Africa
08 May 10 |  England
Pietersen shines in England win
06 May 10 |  Cricket
ICC World Twenty20 2010
17 May 10 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket

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