Paul Collingwood is made entirely out of balls. It must be downright murder to walk, eat or do pretty much anything. To get a hundred in what seemed likely to be your last Test innings is one thing. To do it with a six is quite another.
Kevin Pietersen was caught by mid-on trying to reach his hundred with a six. Collingwood learnt from that mistake. The key is to middle it. Whoosh. 100. It was a similar shot to the one that took him to 200 against Australia.
He’s gritty, they say. He’s a fighter. He’s a scrapper. He’s got character. Normally the emphasis is on what’s not being said. He hasn’t got any real talent is the subtext. We’ve all come to hear only that subtext, but after an innings like that you remember that all those adjectives do actually apply.
Hope he shovels a few more runs today.
England v South Africa, third Test at Edgbaston, day one
England 231 all out (Alastair Cook 76, Ian Bell 50, Jacques Kallis 3-31, Andre Nel 3-47)
South Africa 314 all out (Neil McKenzie 72, Jacques Kallis 64, Andrew Flintoff 4-89, James Anderson 3-72, Ryan Sidebottom 3-81)
England 297-6 (Paul Collingwood 101 not out, Kevin Pietersen 94)