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Lara favours England to win


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LEGENDARY West Indies batsman Brian Lara expects the World Twenty20 Championship final to be a cracker but says England could tear up the form books by beating the imperious Australians.

Lara, who quit international cricket in 2007 following the Cricket World Cup, said the final might represent a change of luck for the rampant Aussies. 

“I think the final is going to be a great one. The two best teams, I believe, are in the final,” the prodigious left-hander told CMC Sports yesterday. 

“Obviously, Australia will be favoured to win but I believe especially in a Twenty20 game any team that is doing very well and winning all their games tend not to win at the end.

“We saw that in the IPL with the Mumbai Indians, so the English could spring a surprise.” 

Both England and Australia cantered through the Super Eights, second round of the tournament in style, winning all three of their matches. 

However, while England brushed aside Sri Lanka in their semi-final on Thursday, Australia were forced to pull off a dramatic last-over win over title-holders Pakistan, with a ball to spare on Friday. 

Lara said the different pitches used had played a key role in the tournament and stressed that the Oval strip for the final had been the best one. 

“I think it was a good tournament. Obviously, [with] the different pitch conditions in Guyana, St Lucia and Barbados . . .  obviously you saw different results,” Lara said. 

“Play [was] affected in Guyana [and there were] slow pitches in St Lucia but I think that Barbados has produced the best pitches especially in the second round between May 5 to the 9.” (CMC)