British press savours England~~s one-day triumph

Published: Saturday, February 10, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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LONDON (AFP):Britain's media has not had many chances to gloat about the England cricket team's performances in recent months -- but they seized their chance after the one-day series final win against Australia.

Attention inevitably focused on Paul Collingwood -- dubbed "the flame-haired fighter" by the Sun tabloid -- who scored his second successive century in the four-wicket win Friday at the MCG.

"Australia were quite simply stunned -- not just the 11 players wearing green on the field but several million across this vast island who have spent more than three months hurling abuse at the Poms," the Sun said.

Former England bowler Angus Fraser, writing in the Independent, also focused on how Australia had been brought back to earth with a bump after the Ashes whitewash.

"England were not meant to play like this. In fact, if the Australian media were to be believed, they were incapable of producing such fight, skill and nerve, especially against the world champions," he wrote.

"Andrew Flintoff's squad of humble triers were supposed to follow the script and meekly fall aside while Ricky Ponting's team of superstars walked away with yet another trophy.

"But England, and in particular Paul Collingwood, had other ideas".

The Daily Mail recalled the taunts Collingwood had faced from Australian crowds for receiving an MBE from Queen Elizabeth II, despite playing only a walk-on part in England's 2005 Ashes win.

"Yet this man of solid Durham substance is clearly intent on having the last laugh," it added.

"Collingwood produced one of the best one-day performances in modern memory."

The Guardian hailed "the revenge of the Ordinary Man."

"Perhaps the Collingwood Tendency -- the predisposition to regard him as ordinary -- will dog his entire career.

"But this was a triumph for solid values and no little skill," its writer said.

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