Collingwood prospers in Adelaide
Paul Collingwood marked the return to the scene of his Test double-century by dominating a 131-run stand with Ian Bell in England’s second Ashes warm-up match.
The fifth-wicket pair put on 131 in 33 overs against South Australia to provide the substance to England’s 288 for eight declared, but regular wickets either side of their partnership limited the tourists’ gains at the Adelaide Oval.
Collingwood, who made 94, cashed in most effectively, on the ground where he made a career-best 206 in England’s dispiriting second-Test defeat on their last Ashes tour.
Bell’s 61 was perhaps the more cultured innings, scored at a slower tempo but characterised by assured defence and measured attack throughout.
In nine overs of bowling up to stumps on day one of three, England were wicketless as their hosts reached 26 - and Collingwood spoiled his day by putting down a routine chance at third slip to reprieve James Smith on 12 off James Anderson.
England won the toss on a warm but increasingly cloudy day - and then lost two wickets in the first hour and two soon after lunch, Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen departing in the space of five overs.
Cook battled through the first session as he looked to find form ahead of the first Test in Brisbane on November 25.
But, after Peter George, who claimed 3-42, had seen off Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott in his new-ball spell on a pitch with decent pace, Cook also fell to the Ashes hopeful.
Strauss went in only the third over, via an edge down the leg-side, wicketkeeper Graham Manou taking a diving catch.
And, after surviving a straightforward chance to slip Daniel Harris off Ben Edmondson on 11, Trott departed a single later as, pulling, he spliced a simple catch straight back to the bowler.
Pietersen was not put off the pull by what he had just witnessed, dispatching George for four - off the front foot - from only the fourth ball he faced.
England’s third-wicket pair had no particular alarms for the remainder of the morning but were hardly breaking the speed limit against a disciplined seam attack.
However, Cook paid the price for being too aggressive after the interval as he threw the bat at a wide delivery, only to edge behind and giving Manou his second catch of the day.
Clearly intent on attacking, Pietersen threatened to dominate, with a pair of straight-driven fours being followed by a fantastic pulled six off George.
But he took the deep-square man on again off Edmondson and was well caught right on the rope by Aiden Blizzard, who knocked the ball up and just kept it in to complete the dismissal.
Collingwood responded with aplomb by easily outpacing Bell on his way to a fifty which contained eight fours.
He had a let-off shortly afterwards when debutant medium-pacer Tim Lang got through his defences to hit him on the back leg but had no luck with an lbw appeal.
Otherwise, there was much to admire in Collingwood’s workmanlike batsmanship.
But on the verge of another three-figure score at a venue he clearly enjoys, he sliced a drive at Jake Haberfield to gully.
Bell soon followed him back, having faced 117 balls - one more than Collingwood - and timed nine high-class fours before surprisingly missing a straight ball from Edmondson.
Stuart Broad could manage only a single, paddling a catch off slow left-armer Aaron O’Brien straight to short-leg.
But Matt Prior and Graeme Swann pushed England up towards 300 until the latter holed out in the deep, sweeping O’Brien, to bring the declaration.