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Collingwood gets Moores' backing after latest failure PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 01 August 2008

REUTERS, BIRMINGHAM - England coach Peter Moores publicly backed Paul Collingwood on Wednesday despite another failure on the first day of the third test against South Africa at Edgbaston.

The middle-order batsman managed only one scoring shot, a boundary, in 44 minutes at the crease. England, whose inadequate batting cost them the second test, were dismissed for just 231 on a good batting surface.

Collingwood, who has not scored a test century for 13 months and who has made only 96 runs in 10 first class innings this season, was recalled after being dropped for the second test.

"He's playing pretty well in practice," Moores told reporters. "He would love to get a score but he is a tough bloke and has played well over the last 12 to 18 months. He has had a bad run of scores but we have supported him because we think he can come through.

"We picked what we thought is the best team for England. He will be disappointed he didn't get a score today but he will get another chance in the second innings."

Andre Nel (three for 47) and Jacques Kallis (three for 31) were the chief destroyers for South Africa, who will claim their first series win in England for 43 years if they win at Edgbaston. Victory would give them an unbeatable 2-0 lead going into the fourth and final test at The Oval.

England enjoyed a positive start with a stand of 68 by their openers, until Andrew Strauss trod on his stumps and was out for 20. Three wickets then fell for six runs.

"We certainly wanted more runs," Moores said. "There is nothing wrong with the pitch and we are disappointed we didn't bat better.

"The team need to show some character and get stuck in, which they will do."

Nel, who is playing his first test for seven months after Dale Steyn broke his left thumb, paid tribute to the accurate swing bowling of Kallis.

"I cannot speak highly enough of Jacques," Nel said. "The wicket is slow but it is swinging. Maybe (231) wasn't a par score but we did bowl well.

"We haven't got them on the rack yet though and need to bat well tomorrow and apply the pressure."

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