Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

England Ace Paul Blames Dismal Batting

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

England Ace Paul Blames Dismal Batting

Article excerpt

CAPTAIN Paul Collingwood blamed England's batsman as their record run of Twenty20 victories was ended by a four-run defeat against Australia in Melbourne.

The tourists narrowly failed to chase down Australia's 147 for seven after a midinnings malaise that Collingwood was certain cost his team a ninth successive victory in Twenty20.

After Ian Bell and Steven Davies had set the platform for victory with an opening stand of 60 from 46 balls, England's runrate 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 per cent off our batting tonight," Collingwood (right) 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.

"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. …

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