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Page last updated at 19:21 GMT, Friday, 19 February 2010

Paul Collingwood hails 'near perfect' England victory

England celebrate a Stuart Broad wicket
A superb display in the field set the tone for England's impressive win

England captain Paul Collingwood saluted his team after their seven-wicket Twenty20 win over Pakistan.

"It was a near-perfect performance," he said after the first of two games against the world champions in Dubai.

"The way we came out and bowled, we got early wickets, put them under pressure and never really let them back in.

"We obviously had a little bit of a blip in the first five overs or so of our batting but it was an exceptional performance by KP and (Eoin) Morgan."

The teams meet again at the same ground on Saturday for the second and final Twenty20 encounter and Collingwood highlighted the start of the innings as an area for his team to work on.

Chasing Pakistan's score of 129-8, England slipped to 18-3 before the magnificent match-winning 112 partnership between Eoin Morgan and Kevin Pietersen.

"There is a little bit of room for improvement there," said Collingwood, who was the final wicket to fall, run out without scoring.

"We obviously would like to get off to a little bit of a better start but hopefully we can put that right on Saturday night."


Unsurprisingly Morgan was man-of-the-match after his scintillating unbeaten 67, the final 53 of which came from a mere 29 balls.

"It was a difficult wicket to get singles away and manipulate the field but eventually me and Kevin got going," he said.

"We decided to put the foot on the pedal towards the end and it came off. Boundaries came at the right time and we've seen it home."

Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik admitted the wicket was not as his team would have hoped, but praised England's disciplined bowling display.

"We were 20 to 25 runs short," he said. "England's bowlers really utilised the new ball and their bowlers bowled really well. We were expecting the wicket to have some bounce but that was not the case."

Looking ahead to star all-rounder Shahid Afridi's return from suspension for Saturday's second match, he said: "He's the best player in our team and he will give us confidence."

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see also
Morgan guides England to T20 win
19 Feb 10 |  England
Morgan looks to the future
18 Feb 10 |  England
England rule out Kieswetter call
18 Feb 10 |  England
Lions defeat England in warm-up
17 Feb 10 |  England
Collingwood demands England focus
15 Feb 10 |  England
Kieswetter stars in Lions victory
12 Feb 10 |  England
Lions begin with Twenty20 victory
10 Feb 10 |  England
Asif barred from England matches
08 Feb 10 |  Pakistan
Banned Afridi replaced by Malik
01 Feb 10 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
England in UAE & Bangladesh 2010
23 Feb 10 |  Cricket

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