An excellent all-round performance from Paul Collingwood: 3-43 with the ball and 70 not out off 50 balls. If it were Andrew Flintoff with those figures, everyone’d be giggling, dribbling and getting all rambunctious. They’d be saying ‘bring on the Aussies’ like morons due to the lack of blood supply to their brains.
But it wasn’t Andrew Flintoff. It was Paul Collingwood. So instead everyone’s just saying ‘they’ll probably lose the next one’.
Paul Collingwood’s great. Not every pitch suits his bowling, but when he’s an option he bowls that brand of ‘slow, slower, slowest, QUICK ONE’ bowling that’s served one-day bowlers so well for years. And he bowls it well.
When batting, his default approach is to plonk the ball into gaps and sprint to the other end, but he’s got another gear as well, which he showed at the death today. A lot of batsmen pace their innings so that they gradually increase their scoring rate. Paul Collingwood seems to just flick a switch. ‘Enable boundary-hitting’.
He’s done it often enough now that it shouldn’t be at all a surprise, but he’s still not seen as an aggressive batsman. Perhaps it’s because he can actually play in another way as well – to be an aggressive batsman do you have to be an out-and-out slogger? Today saw Paul Collingwood’s 37th, 38th and 39th sixes in one-day internationals anyway.
It was a day for all-round captains all-round. Daniel Vettori hit 42 off 35 balls and took 2-23 off ten. That shouldn’t be a performance in defeat, but it was, because of Paul Collingwood’s gingerial splendour.
England’s all-rounder is a man of steadfast bits and exceptional pieces these days.
New Zealand v England, third one-day international at Auckland
New Zealand 234-9 (Jacob Oram 88, Stuart Broad 3-32, Paul Collingwood 3-43)
England 229-4 (Ian Bell 73, Paul Collingwood 70)
England win as a result of Duckworth-Lewis calculations