Melbourne, February 9:

Paul Collingwood scored an unbeaten 120 and had a stellar day in the field to lead England to a four-wicket victory over Australia in the first final of the tri-series tournament.

Collingwood’s match-turning catch and two run outs restricted Australia to 252. Collingwood hit the winning run with three balls to spare. He rescued England from a terrible start of 15-3.

He and Ian Bell (65) set England on the way to victory with a 133-run stand, before Collingwood and captain Andrew Flintoff partnered for 74.

Collingwood got England back into the match much earlier, through a brilliant catch to remove Ricky Ponting and two runouts with direct hits.

Australia were headed for a big total after 30 overs when Ponting and Matthew Hayden had the England attack at its mercy at 170-1. Hayden made 82 and Ricky Ponting fired a run-a-ball 75. After Adam Gilchrist was dismissed to leave Australia at 32-1, Hayden and Ponting laid the foundation when they combined for 138 from 148 balls.

SCOREBOARD

AUSTRALIA

A Gilchrist c Flintoff b Mahmood 5

M Hayden c Mahmood b Dalrymple 82

R Ponting c C’wood b Panesar 75

M Clarke run out 33

B Hodge lbw b Panesar 5

M Hussey c Nixon b Flintoff 17

S Watson c Bell b Mahmood 9

B Hogg c Bell b Flintoff 10

B Lee run out 0

N Bracken not out 3

G McGrath b Flintoff 0

Extras: 13 (4lb, 9w)

TOTAL: 252 (48.3 overs)

FoW: 1-32, 2-170, 3-180, 4-196, 5-229, 6-229, 7-248, 8-248, 9-250

England bowling: Plunkett 10-0-56-0, Mahmood 8-0-45-2, Flintoff 9.3-1-41-3, Panesar 10-0-44-2, Collingwood 4-0-21-0, Dalrymple 7-0-41-1

ENGLAND

E Joyce c McGrath b Lee 6

M Loye lbw b Lee 0

I Bell b Lee 65

A Strauss lbw b Bracken 0

P C’wood not out 120

A Flintoff c Gilchrist b Watson 35

J Dalrymple run out 3

P Nixon not out 11

Extras: 13 (3lb, 7w, 3nb)

Total: 253/6 (49.3 overs)

FoW: 1-1, 2-14, 3-15, 4-148, 5-222, 6-225

Australia bowling: Lee 10-0-41-3, Bracken 8.3-1-38, McGrath 10-0-53-0, Watson 8-0-51-1, Hogg 10-0-52-0, Clarke 3-0-15-0