Collingwood’s men had booked an ICC World Twenty20 final clash with old enemy Australia in Bridgetown with a seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the last four, but knew they would have to be at their best to go all the way as they headed for Barbados and the Kensington Oval.
In the event, they produced with bat and ball to claim their first piece of limited silverware, ultimately with the minimum of fuss.
Having won the toss and decided to put the Australians in, Collingwood’s bowlers made early in-roads to reduce Michael Clarke’s team to eight for three inside the first 13 balls with openers Shane Watson and David Warner being swiftly followed back to the pavilion by Brad Haddin, Ryan Sidebottom accounting for both Watson and Haddin.
Clarke and David Hussey, who went on to make 59 with support from Cameron White, steadied the ship as their side recovered to 147 for six off their allotted 20 overs – a score which looked below par.
England’s reply suffered an early setback when opener Michael Lumb went for just two, but South African-born duo Craig Kieswetter and Kevin Pietersen put on 111 for the second wicket to steer them to within touching distance of victory.
Kieswetter top-scored with 63 from 49 balls while Pietersen, who had been allowed to fly home mid-tournament to attend the birth of his first child, finished with 47 off 31 balls.
However, it was Collingwood who fittingly contributed the winning runs and he and Eoin Morgan saw England home by seven wickets with three overs to spare.
The Durham all-rounder, who had succeeded where the likes of Mike Brearley, Mike Gatting, Graham Gooch and Michael Vaughan before him had been unable to in leading his country to limited overs glory, was thrilled to have done so.
Collingwood said: “We knew it was a monkey on our back. We knew what it meant, and that is why I am so pleased that these last two performances in such pressurised situations were absolutely spot on.”
Pietersen added: “It’s one that will only sink in in a few weeks’ time or when I see my little boy to hold.”