BRIDGETOWN, May 17 – South Africa born batsmen Craig Kieswetter and Kevin Pietersen starred as England won their first major one-day title in a seven-wicket victory over Australia in Sunday's World Twenty20 final.England, chasing 148 to win, after reducing a previously unbeaten Australian side at this tournament to eight for three, saw Kieswetter (63) and Pietersen (47) put on 111 for the second wicket at the Kensington Oval.
They eventually won with three overs to spare when captain Paul Collingwood struck Shane Watson for a boundary as his side finished on 151 for three.
It was the first time England had won a major international one-day event after losing in three World Cup finals (1979, 1987 and 1992) and the 2004 Champions Trophy.
Pietersen, who completed an 8,000 mile round trip back to England to attend the birth of his first child during the event, was named man-of-the-tournament after several matchwinning innings, and Kieswetter the man-of-the-match.
"I had a little kid on Monday and this trophy here," Pietersen said. "But this trophy goes to all the lads."
"The more you play, the more you win and the more it becomes a habit, like the great Australians. This team is hungry for success, we want to win."
Kieswetter, who made his Twenty20 international debut at this event, said: "It’s been a great experience, to play against the Australians in the final makes it all much better."
Australia captain Michael Clarke said his side had failed to post a competitive total.
"I don’t think we scored enough runs," said Clarke. "I think you’ve got to give credit to England, they outplayed us today.
"We’ve played really well throughout the whole tournament. We’re obviously disappointed in the final to not get the result but I think we should hold our heads high.
England, who held Australia to 147 for six, saw Kieswetter and Pietersen dominate the Aussie quicks after Michael Lumb’s early exit.
Pietersen, who faced 31 balls, with a six and four fours, was out when he hoisted leg-spinner Steven Smith to David Warner on the long-off boundary.
And, worryingly for England, 118 for two became 121 for three when Kieswetter was bowled by left-arm quick Mitchell Johnson, having faced 49 balls, with two sixes and seven fours.
But Collingwood and former Ireland batsman Eoin Morgan (both 15 not out) saw England home.
Earlier, David Hussey’s 59 kept Australia in the match during an innings where the next best score was Cameron White’s 30.
Kieswetter and Pietersen were in commanding form against Australia’s quicks, with Kieswetter, a former South Africa Under-19 international, striking two fours in as many balls off left-armer Dirk Nannes and cover-driving express quick Shaun Tait.
At the 10-over halfway mark, England were 73 for one compared to Australia’s 47 for four.
Australia badly needed a breakthrough but, in Tait’s comeback over, Pietersen drove him over his head for a boundary and then struck an even more impressive six high over long-off to bring up England’s hundred.
David Hussey’s 59 kept Australia in the match during an innings where the next best score was Cameron White’s 30.
Together with White, David Hussey – missed on 25 – put on fifty for the fifth wicket and then shared a stand of 47 with his brother.
David Hussey was run out in the last over, going for a second run, by Luke Wright’s throw from long-on to Kieswetter.
He faced 54 balls with two sixes and two fours.
Left-arm quick Ryan Sidebottom took two wickets for 26 runs from his maximum four overs and off-spinner Graeme Swann a miserly one for 17.
England had a sensational start after Collingwood won the toss.
Sidebottom struck third ball when Watson edged an intended cut, which was dropped by Kieswetter only for first slip Swann to hold the rebound.
Then two for one became seven for two when Warner was run out having made just two after failing to beat Lumb’s under-arm direct hit.
The collapse continued when Brad Haddin (one) was caught down the legside by diving opposing gloveman Kieswetter off Sidebottom.
Haddin then risked disciplinary action by pointing to his thigh after being given out by umpire Billy Doctrove.