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Page last updated at 18:54 GMT, Tuesday, 10 November 2009

England slide to warm-up defeat

Twenty20 warm-up, Bloemfontein: South Africa A 90-6 (17.3 ovs) bt England 89 (17.3 ovs) by six wickets
Match scorecard

Luke Wright
Wright was one of three run outs in the space of 11 balls

England succumbed to a humiliating four-wicket defeat against South Africa A in their only Twenty20 warm-up match before Friday's first international.

Alastair Cook made a scratchy 22 and captain Paul Collingwood (18) hit his first two balls for four and six, but five wickets fell within three overs.

Three in a row were run-outs and they were 89 all out with 15 balls unused.

Spinners Graeme Swann and Adil Rashid claimed two wickets apiece but the home team won with 15 balls remaining.

It was not as if the England selection could have been different, with the 11 players on duty the only ones available.

Team captain Andrew Strauss no longer plays Twenty20 internationals and bowlers James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graham Onions were nursing injury niggles.

Star batsman Kevin Pietersen will join the squad on Wednesday before Friday's opening Twenty20 international against South Africa, although he is not expected to play.

In Bloemfontein, Joe Denly struck the third ball fluently through the covers for four but the next two overs went by without a boundary, and after Cook got off the mark with a streaky edge to third man, Denly was caught by a diving Heino Kuhn behind the stumps for seven.

South African-born Jonathan Trott hit one four past square cover but was caught in a similar area which brought in his captain, who made a confident start with lusty blows over square-leg, as England ended the batting powerplay on 37-2.


After Collingwood hit a second four from the first ball of the eighth over there were no more boundaries.

The 50 arrived in the ninth over but it was painful fare and wickets continued to fall, Cook spooning to mid-on having been dropped twice in his 30-ball innings and the run outs contributing to a miserable capitulation.

Collingwood chose to open the bowling with spinner Swann, and he struck in his second over.

Rashid, England's other spinner, was introduced after the batting powerplay but left-hander Rilee Rossouw promptly dispatched him for two fours in his opening over.

Rashid had his man caught at the wicket and Matt Prior's assured stumping in the next over gave Swann a second wicket.

When Justin Ontong was caught off Rashid, 29 were needed from 37 balls, but England soon turned to the occasional spin of Denly, who was unceremoniously smashed for two sixes in three balls over long-on by Vaughn van Jaarsveld to reduce the requirement to four from 24 balls.

Van Jaarsveld was caught by Denly at square-leg off Sajid Mahmood and there was a schoolboy run-out in which both batsmen were at the same end, but it was England who suffered the greater embarrassment.

"Obviously it was disappointing with the bat but I thought we showed a lot of fight with the ball and did well to get them six down but we're not going to win many games losing seven for 20," Collingwood said.

I wouldn't have thought he'd be available for the Twenty20s but he's progressing nicely and hopefully he'll be fit for the one-dayers

Collingwood on Stuart Broad

"That's an area we need to look at, and we had a few run-outs which didn't help, but in many ways this is why you have practice games before the actual main event and hopefully we can put things right for Friday."

There was added concern when Swann left the field with a tight thigh but Collingwood was quick to play down fears over the spinner's fitness.

"He felt a bit of side pain but says he's going to be fine and Jimmy [Anderson] and Graham Onions will come back into the reckoning for Friday," he said.

One man who is not likely to feature in that match is Pietersen. "I wouldn't say it's set in stone but it's highly unlikely he'll play in the Twenty20 games," the skipper said.

"We've got to monitor his fitness but that first practice game for the one-dayers [against South Africa A on 17 November] is a more realistic target.

"After a lengthy lay-off we will hopefully ease him back and coming into a Twenty20 I'm not sure that's going to happen."

Broad's shoulder injury kept him on the sidelines and Collingwood added: "I wouldn't have thought he'd be available for the Twenty20s but he's progressing nicely and hopefully he'll be fit for the one-dayers." They start on 20 November.

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see also
Strauss leads England to easy win
08 Nov 09 |  England
England handed Broad injury boost
07 Nov 09 |  England
SA victorious despite Taibu's ton
08 Nov 09 |  Cricket
Trott fires England to easy win
06 Nov 09 |  England
Collingwood urges bold approach
05 Nov 09 |  England
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
England in South Africa 2009-10
17 Jan 10 |  England

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