CAPTAIN Paul Collingwood saw his England side cruise into the World Twenty20 final last night and then roared “ Bring on Australia”.
Collingwood led his side to a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in St Lucia, taking them to within one step of a first ever one-day tournament success.
Unbeaten Australia face defending champions Pakistan in the second semi-final this afternoon and Collingwood made no bones about who he would rather face in Sunday’s showdown in Barbados.
“Everyone would love an England versus Australia final, but we have to give a lot of respect to Pakistan too, so we’ll have to wait and see,” the Durham all-rounder said.
Collingwood was left proud of another supreme all-round display from his men, with a fine performance in the field restricting the Sri Lankans to 128-6.
Stuart Broad was the pick of the bowlers with 2-21, while Ryan Sidebottom, Tim Bresnan and Graeme Swann all chipped in, despite Angelo Matthews leading Sri Lanka’s charge with 58.
“I’m going to sound like a broken record here but full credit to our bowlers again,” Collingwood said of his in-form quintet. “We lost the toss and adapted to conditions on a slow wicket. We put them under pressure and I’m delighted with how they performed.”
But Collingwood’s England side have also made a name for themselves as a major batting force in this competition – and his top order didn’t disappoint again here.
Openers Craig Kieswetter (39) and Michael Lumb (33) put on 68 for the first wicket as England raced to the victory target, although the skipper failed again, adding just 10.
But despite arriving in the West Indies just hours prior to the start, following the birth of his son, Kevin Pietersen showed his class to crack 42no from 26 balls to see England home with 24 balls to spare.