Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pietersen About T-20 Finals

Star batsman Kevin Pietersen hailed his England team-mates after their ICC World Twenty20 final victory over Australia in Barbados.
Pietersen was named man of the tournament after scoring 248 runs, including 47 in England's seven-wicket victory over their old enemies in today's final.

"It's been a pretty interesting week for me," said Pietersen, who flew back to London last weekend and became a father for the first time on Monday before returning to the Caribbean.

"I had a little kid on Monday and this trophy here.

"But this trophy goes to all the lads.

"They support each other and share each other's success.

"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."

Craig Kieswetter, who was named man of the match for his 63 off 49 deliveries, won a trophy in his first competition as part of England's Twenty20 team.

The Somerset wicketkeeper-batsman said: "It's been a great experience, to play against the Australians in the final makes it all much better."

Kieswetter and Pietersen dovetailed effectively in the final, putting on 111 for the second wicket.

Kieswetter paid tribute to his more experienced team-mate.

He said: "It makes it a lot easier for me. It takes the pressure off and allows me to play quite freely."

Captain Paul Collingwood said the victory rivalled the 2005 and 2009 Ashes Test series successes over Australia.

Collingwood said: "It's right up there, it's got to be.

"This is our first World Cup we've ever won and the boys deserve it.

"We've put a lot of hard work and effort in and the boys are absolutely thrilled we came out today and put that performance in."

England's limited-overs performances have been criticised for some time and Collingwood attributed the improvements in his team to hard work.

He added: "We've got some good players in the side, the work ethic we've had over the past year and we're starting to see the results on the pitch.

"There's a lot of confidence in the side; you can see the belief that we've got going out on the pitch.

"The power that we've got, the thought processes the bowlers are using, the fielding, everything seems to be stronger."

Even when England had Australia on eight for three, Collingwood was not ruling out a response.

He said: "No chance. Not with what they did against Pakistan the other day (when Australia successfully chased a target of 192).

"Obviously if you want to be the best, you've got to beat the best and it was a great performance.

"When we got those three wickets early doors we gave ourselves a great opportunity to put them under pressure.

"They fought back, put on a partnership and got themselves up to a score they could defend.

"But the way KP and Kieswetter took the attack to them, we deserved that victory."

Australia captain Michael Clarke was magnanimous in defeat.

"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.

"Australia in Twenty20 are only going forward. We tried our best, we just got outplayed today.

"The way England were playing, we probably needed 200.

"They've had a wonderful tournament."

Collingwood hit the winning runs and finished unbeaten on 12.

Eoin Morgan was alongside his captain in the middle as the victory came and paid tribute to Kieswetter and Pietersen for setting up the win.

Morgan told Sky Sports 1: "It was a magnificent knock from Craig and Kevin and I didn't have much to do at the end.

"We're pretty happy with the performance and delighted with the win."

The former Ireland international added: "It's been fantastic, something I've always dreamed of."

Stuart Broad was also thrilled.

"It's such a special occasion for us," said the bowler. "We played well throughout the whole tournament.

"It's a huge thing to win a World Cup but the way we won it was so special as well."

Ryan Sidebottom, who took two for 26, said: "I just can't stop laughing.

"It's absolutely amazing."

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