England v Bangladesh, 1st Test, Chittagong, 2nd day

Collingwood basks in glow of tenth Test ton

Andrew Miller in Chittagong

March 13, 2010

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Paul Collingwood celebrates his 10th Test hundred, Bangladesh v England, 1st Test, Chittagong, March 13, 2010
Paul Collingwood's 10th Test century caps a successful 12 months of cricket for him © Getty Images
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Paul Collingwood has seen too much in his long international career, and sailed too close and too often to the margins of selection, to let anything distract from his rare moments in the limelight. And so when, after a year of the hardest but most rewarding cricket of his career, he was presented the opportunity to secure his tenth Test hundred against a toiling and demoralised Bangladeshi attack, he didn't think twice about the opportunity, nor seek to denigrate it afterwards.

"This is a special century for me," said Collingwood. "It is Test cricket and to get ten centuries, it is something I thought I'd never achieve when I first started the game. I've not had a hundred for a little while, so I wanted to make sure I got there and it was a special one for me. But I'm not going to rank it as the best or the worst or even the easiest, because I think that is a little bit unfair."

Being unfair was pretty much the order of the day, however, as Collingwood brutalised a drained attack - first in partnership with Alastair Cook, and then with Ian Bell alongside him - as he galloped down the wicket to spin and pace alike, clunking his bottom-handed drives and pulls to the tune of 10 fours and four sixes. As the declaration approached it was a help-yourself scenario, until on 145, Tamim Iqbal circled beneath one lofted drive too many.

Nevertheless, only 25 England batsmen have previously reached ten Test centuries, and notable names who fell short include Robin Smith, Derek Randall, Ted Dexter and Tony Greig. If nothing else, the achievement confirms - in Collingwood's own eternally modest mind - the impression that he has been giving to the rest of the cricket world over the past 12 months: that he has moved far beyond the mediocrity that can at times afflict English batsmen, and cemented himself for posterity as a player who was greater than the sum of his parts.

"I think that is why it has been a special moment today," he said. "If you get to ten Test centuries then you're, not a great, but it is an achievement. I'm 33 years old, and I think I'm developing all the time as a player and I'm getting more confident. I've had a great 12 months and I want to continue with that.

"It is a proud moment and I'm happy with that," he said. "I'm probably not the best-looking batsman in the middle, and that has gone against me in the past, but my job is a run-getter not a batsman. Sometimes people forget that it is the scoring the runs that is the most important thing, and not how you get them. That is how I've always approached it."

If people have forgotten it in the past, then they've had ample reminders in England's most recent encounters. "Brigadier Block" was the monicker conferred upon Collingwood after a string of heroics against Australia at Cardiff, and South Africa at Centurion and Cape Town - three matches that came down to the very last deliveries of the game, but not before he had grafted a total of 140 runs from 532 balls, in a minute short of 13 hours, to set up those chances for salvation.

"There have been innings along the way that in my own mind have been centuries in the past year but statistically they haven't been put down, so today it was important that I got over the three figures," he said. "I don't want anything to be taken away from our performance and the way we've approached the game. I think we've done some good things in the game and I think Bangladesh are improving all the time."

Despite a defiant 81 not out from Tamim, Bangladesh's 56th defeat in 65 Tests looms large, and depending on how long their first innings extends on Sunday morning, they could yet be subjected to their 34th by an innings. Nevertheless, for Collingwood - who began the tour by joking about the quality of the country's golf courses - there's still the prospect of this good walk being spoiled, and he was determined not to release the pressure until the job is done and dusted.

"We haven't played a lot against Bangladesh in the last couple of years but they are improving and they can be an awkward team to come up against," he said. "What we've seen in the last two days is a very, very flat wicket, so it is easy to say they are not as good as other Test playing nations, but they are getting better and better.

"We'll not be getting complacent because it can be tough over here and we don't want them to get a sniff. They've upset a few sides along the way so we need to make sure that we don't let them upset us. It is an important series for us because we've got some real important cricket coming up at the back end of the year and we want to give ourselves the best chance possible, which means winning as much as possible."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo. Go to http://twitter.com/miller_cricket to follow him on Twitter through the England tour of Bangladesh.

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Waikato_FC on (March 13, 2010, 18:19 GMT)

Thanks for your 'contribution' ScriptWriter, if you were a cricket fan you'd appreciate test cricket wherever it was and whoever was playing. So yes, as a Kiwi, I do care it is on, sorry to drag you away from the IPL.

Posted by SettingSun on (March 13, 2010, 17:32 GMT)

@ScriptWriter. Couldn't the same thing be said of many fixtures, why single out this one? I've been keeping an eye on the Zimbabwe - West Indies scores but I don't really care who wins.

Posted by tanvir_alam on (March 13, 2010, 14:40 GMT)

Sakib al hasan.. plz hand over ur captaincy to the mashrafi bin murtuza bez ur captaincy effected ur performance also ur wrong decision effected the team performance.. few days ago u said that u don't want Mashrafi.. I think now u understand what u said... ur fast bowling attack is nothing without mashrafi.. & another thing... I saw u walk that way which way MD. ashraful is standing... so be careful & just call mashrafi bin murtuza... by the way... well done Tamim & Mahmudullah... both of u done a fantastic job.. Tamim keep ur brain cool bez we need something more from u.... best of luck 4 2moro...

Posted by ScriptWriter on (March 13, 2010, 14:07 GMT)

Does anyone even care that this contest is on? Except the Bangladeshis and the English, that is.

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Andrew Miller Andrew Miller was saved from a life of drudgery in the City when his car caught fire on the way to an interview. He took this as a sign and fled to Pakistan where he witnessed England's historic victory in the twilight at Karachi (or thought he did, at any rate - it was too dark to tell). He then joined Wisden Online in 2001, and soon graduated from put-upon photocopier to a writer with a penchant for comment and cricket on the subcontinent. In addition to Pakistan, he has covered England tours in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007
Tour Results
Bangladesh v England at Dhaka - Mar 20-24, 2010
England won by 9 wickets
Bangladesh v England at Chittagong - Mar 12-16, 2010
England won by 181 runs
Bangladesh A v England XI at Chittagong - Mar 7-9, 2010
Match drawn
Bangladesh v England at Chittagong - Mar 5, 2010
England won by 45 runs
Bangladesh v England at Dhaka - Mar 2, 2010
England won by 2 wickets (with 7 balls remaining)
More results »
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News | Features Last 3 days