Shamik Das

Friday, February 09, 2007

Paul Collingwood MBE: MoM @ the MCG!

"Thank you very much, Mr Ponting Sir!"

Melbourne, CB Series, First Final: England 253/6 (49.3 overs) beat Australia 252 (48.3 overs) by four wickets

Paul Collingwood rammed the Aussies' MBE taunts back down their throats with a faultless display of one day cricket to put England 1-0 up in the Commonwealth Bank series final.

Collingwood delivered a masterclass in limited overs cricket - both at the crease and in the field - scoring an unbeaten century, superbly catching Ricky Ponting and then running out Michael Clarke and Brett Lee late on.

When Collingwood came in to bat England were rocking on 15/3, but were rescued by his partnerships of 133 with Ian Bell (65) and 74 with Andrew Flintoff (35), before Durham's finest struck 17 runs off his last nine balls to steer England to an unlikely win.

Paul Collingwood embraces Andrew Flintoff on completion of his century    Paul Collingwood leaps into the air after scoring the winning runs at the MCG

The Australians appeared well set to post a big total, cruising along at 170/1 with 20 overs remaining when Collingwood produced his first moment of magic, leaping to his left at full stretch to dismiss Ponting for 75 - the 80th time the Australia skipper has passed fifty in ODIs.

An hour on and the Durham all-rounder ran out Michael Clarke for 33 to spark a rare Australian collapse, the hosts losing their last six wickets for 23 runs in 38 balls to leave England chasing 253 at five an over.

Thus the platform was laid for Collingwood to score his second successive century and keep alive the prospect of an unlikely series win.

Watch highlights of England's victory right now.


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