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Collingwood rues batting errors

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Paul Collingwood

Paul Collingwood falls for six as he fails to clear mid-off. "We were 10% to 20% off our batting tonight," revealed the England captain

Captain Paul Collingwood was critical of England’s batsmen after their record run of Twenty20 victories came to an end.

The tourists narrowly failed to chase down Australia's 147 for seven after a mid-innings malaise that Collingwood was certain cost his team a ninth successive victory in the shortest form of the game.

After Ian Bell and Steven Davies had set the platform for victory with an opening stand of 60 from 46 balls, England's run-rate slowed appreciably as they managed just 53 runs in the next 10 overs, while also losing six wickets.

That left them needing 18 from Brett Lee's final over and while Chris Woakes kept up hopes with a six, Tim Bresnan could not deliver a similar blow that was required from the last ball.

"We were quite happy at half-time with chasing down a score like that but we were 10% or 20% off our batting tonight," Collingwood said.

"I thought we could win, especially after the first six overs when Bell and Davies set a good platform for us. But we went through those middle overs and had a lot of dot balls.

"They resorted to bowling a lot of cutters into the wicket so it made it difficult for us to get the boundaries at the right time. We couldn't get the boundaries and started holing out after that.

"I think if we were given that score any time we'd want to chase that down."

While disappointed to see the end of his side's record run, which began during their successful World Twenty20 campaign last May, Collingwood denied that defeat represented any kind of setback ahead of the seven-match one-day series, which begins at the MCG on Sunday.

"We've had a good run of things in the Twenty20 format of the game. It's disappointing tonight not to have won the game," he added.

Ian Bell

Ian Bell got England off to a flying start alongside Steven Davies, but the openers' efforts proved in vain as Australia fought back

"We're all looking forward to one-day series. I can safely say we are still playing some good cricket.

"We would have loved to have won tonight, but I don't think it has hit our momentum too much. We did some good stuff and we were just 10% off the mark with the batting.

"(Andrew) Strauss takes over the reins again and we are looking forward to this series. It is a big series for us going into the World Cup."

Spinners Graeme Swann and Michael Yardy had earlier put the brakes on a brisk Australia start as they both returned figures of two for 19 from their four overs.

But where England failed to find the boundaries late in their innings Aaron Finch, playing just his second game, crucially did for the hosts after Swann and Yardy had been bowled out.

Finch's unbeaten 53 from 33 balls included four fours and two sixes and Collingwood admitted the 24-year-old's hitting had proved decisive.

"He hits a long ball. He hits it in good areas and he's a dangerous player," he said.

"He hits it pretty hard and he's a good fielder. It was a good innings.

"It shifted the momentum a little bit into their favour going into the halfway mark, he seems a good player."

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