Collingwood asks for more
Paul Collingwood gave his England team a ‘can-do-better’ report despite seeing them start their ICC World Twenty20 Super Eight campaign with a convincing six-wicket win over reigning champions Pakistan.
Kevin Pietersen’s unbeaten 73 ensured England completed the job safely at the Kensington Oval in Barbados yesterday, after Pakistan mustered a below-par 147 for nine on a pitch of decent pace.
While Collingwood described Pietersen’s innings as “exceptional”, he conceded England must raise their game in other areas.
“It was a good performance. It was nice to get the full 40 overs in, because then you always get a proper game,” Collingwood said, having endured one Duckworth-Lewis defeat and a no-result in England’s group matches in rainy Guyana.
“But we can improve on it as well. There were certain areas we weren’t very good.
“I thought there were times we didn’t bowl too well at the start - gave them too much width - and we were very sloppy at the end of the innings.
“If you’ve got a team down you need to kill them off. We had a few opportunities at the end to do that.
“But we got the two points and are delighted to beat a very dangerous side. If we improve on a few things that will be good.”
Collingwood was heartened not just by Pietersen’s batting - the pair shared a third-wicket stand of 60, to which Collingwood contributed just 16 - but also that of openers Craig Kieswetter and Michael Lumb.
They made 25 apiece, putting on 44 inside six overs to give England’s chase some crucial early momentum.
“There were some great partnerships, and the boys got us off to a great start again at the top of the order - giving us a real impetus,” added Collingwood.
“I think their (Pakistan’s) spin was going to be the main threat, and thankfully the two guys at the top got the run-rate up so that we didn’t really have to push on too hard.”
England, who will play South Africa in their second Super Eight match at the same venue tomorrow, eventually won with three balls to spare.