Persistence All The Way

September 24, 2015, Chennai

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Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Craig Kieswetter knew this. So did all his team mates. If England were crowned Twenty20 world champions after crushing Australia by seven wickets in the summit clash to win their maiden ICC tournament title, his sparkling 63 had helped it in a big way.

  He made the much vaunted Australian bowling attack look pedestrian.

England won

“Press on” was their watch-word and with that, England chased down the target of 148 with three overs to spare in the grand finale at the Kensington Oval. Kevin Pietersen gave him able support with his valuable 31-ball 47. Pietersen, who became a father during the tournament, was imperious. He dominated the Australian attack right from the moment he walked into the simmering cauldron, hitting on the up with elan and pulling with timing when the ball was pitched trifle short. The awesome pair brought the hitherto mighty Australians to their knees by stitching 111 runs from just 68 balls for the second wicket to set up the win for England.

England kept their dreams alive from the very first over they bowled. Several eye-brows were raised when Collingwood decided to bowl after winning the toss, apparently to use the fast and bouncy pitch first. It paid rich dividend as three Australian batsmen were out by the third over for just eight runs in a sensational start to the grand finale. They showed determination and dedication. And what a clinical bowling performance was it?  

By beating Australia in the final, England won their first ICC event title after finishing runners-up in three 50-over World Cups -- in 1979, 1987 and 1992 -- and Champions Trophy at home in 2004.

Australia, the reigning 50-over world champions, failed to win the only trophy that has eluded them after making it to the final of the showpiece event of the slam-bang format in its third edition in the Caribbean.

Playing in their maiden final of a Twenty20 World Cup, Australia made a disastrous start after being put into bat. They were in a tight spot and everything went against them. They could still have held on. They didn’t and the tide didn’t turn either.

England’s teamwork divided the task and multiplied the success! Players all over the world can take a leaf out of it.