CRICKET : The onus was on England’s record-breaker Paul Collingwood and new batting find Jonathan Trott to keep an awkward chase on course in pursuit of South Africa’s 250 for nine at Centurion.
The onus was on England’s record-breaker Paul Collingwood and new batting find Jonathan Trott to keep an awkward chase on course in pursuit of South Africa’s 250 for nine at Centurion.
With the prize a 1-0 lead in a five-match one-day international series, England’s third-wicket pair came together at 45 and by the 30-over mark had batted sensibly on the way to 140.
Collingwood (52no) – marking his 171st ODI cap and passing England’s previous benchmark set by Alec Stewart – was one of the likeliest to prosper on a pitch of uneven but mostly sluggish pace.
The conditions had played to his advantage with the ball too as he took two wickets to help restrict a South Africa innings propped up by half-centuries from Hashim Amla (57) and Alviro Petersen (64).
Collingwood also showed his prowess with some typical brilliance in the field, on a day when England put down five catches.
The tourists lost two of their most plausible match-winners, Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen, cheaply as they began their reply.
Strauss, opening with a new partner in Trott (62no), fell in the eighth over when he aimed to clip Charl Langeveldt to leg but instead looped a simple catch to point off a leading edge.
That brought Pietersen to the crease, to a predictably mixed reception in front of a partisan crowd in the country of his birth.
He got under way with a trademark whipped drive through straight midwicket off Langeveldt but was unable to add to that boundary before trying the same trick against new bowler Albie Morkel and getting a thin inside edge on to leg-stump.
But Trott and Collingwood were then content to simply keep England in the equation with accumulation.