Collingwood opts to ignore 'blip'

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Matt Prior, Paul Collingwood & Justin Ontong

Mixed emotions: Matt Prior and Paul Collingwood cannot believe their luck as Justin Ontong survives an lbw appeal

Paul Collingwood wants England to forget about their four-wicket loss to South Africa A tonight and take the positives from what has been an impressive start to the tour beforehand.

The all-rounder is in charge of the team this week in the absence of regular captain Andrew Strauss, who no longer plays international 20-over cricket.

But his first game as leader in the team's final warm-up match was not memorable as a meek batting display proved to be the catalyst for defeat in Bloemfontein.

Alastair Cook, dropped twice during his innings, top-scored with 22, while only three batsmen reached double figures as they lost seven wickets for 40 runs to be dismissed for 89 in 17.3 overs.

Rilee Rossouw and Vaughn van Jaarsveld then each struck 23 to help guide their side home with 15 balls to spare.

It was a first poor result of the trip so far, which has yielded comprehensive 50-over victories over the Diamond Eagles and the Warriors - both under the leadership of Strauss, but his stand-in insists they will bounce back for the opening Twenty20 international against the hosts on Friday.

"I'm hoping tonight is just a blip," he said. "We've done a lot of good stuff so far on this tour."

Matt Prior, Alastair Cook, Joe Denly, Tim Bresnan & Graeme Swann

Graeme Swann, who made Heino Kuhn the first of his two victims, left the field early but Collingwood was unconcerned

"Obviously Twenty20 cricket's a different format of the game - you're a bit more rushed out in the middle.

"But really, losing seven for 20, you're not going to win any games to be honest. So that's the area we've got to look at."

Collingwood pointed to a lack of judgement as one of the key contributors to the loss.

"We probably didn't judge the wicket as well as we could have, with it turning so much," he continued.

"Maybe 120-130 would have been a good score on that wicket and we probably went a little bit too hard for a bigger score, but that's why you have these games."

Asked whether the victories over franchises in the opening two games had possibly given England false belief, he replied: "I wouldn't say so. I think we played very, very well in the first two games. Tonight we didn't play as well.

"We'll obviously come out of this, we'll learn from it, we'll discuss it before Friday and hopefully put on a better performance."

Off-spinner Graeme Swann, who opened the bowling and again impressed in claiming 2-9 in four overs, gave injury-hit England more cause for concern when he left the field early.

But Collingwood assured supporters it was not a major worry.

"He's come off with a stiff side, but he's spoken to the medical staff and they don't seem to be too concerned. So we'll wait and see over the next couple of days," he added.

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