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England v Sri Lanka, Twenty20, Southampton

England boosted by Pietersen's return

Cricinfo staff

June 14, 2006

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Guess who's back ... © Getty Images
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Kevin Pietersen is likely to return from injury to face Sri Lanka in the Twenty20 game at The Rose Bowl on Thursday, and Paul Collingwood is also set to play despite sustaining a thigh injury during Tuesday's ODI win over Ireland. Glen Chapple, who has an abdominal strain, will undergo a late fitness test.

"It's pretty much all right now," Andrew Strauss said of Pietersen's hamstring strain. "There was no point in risking him [against Ireland] but he should be OK for the Twenty20."

Collingwood too was optimistic, despite leaving the field for treatment during Ireland's innings. "It's a bit tender at the moment but hopefully I should be OK," he told BBC Sport. "I could have stayed on and bowled a few more overs but it was tightening up and we thought it would be best to get it iced up. Hopefully it's not too bad. We'll see more when I get into running and sprinting then make a decision but I can't see it being a problem."

While England have some international Twenty20 experience - the victory over Australia on the same ground a year ago kick-started a remarkable summer - this will be Sri Lanka's first outing. However, they showed that they are likely to adapt quickly when they took on a PCA Masters XI at Arundel on Tuesday, thrashing the ball to all parts in making 180 for 3 off 16 overs before rain set in.

A full house is expected at Southampton, with many fans arriving at 4pm to watch England's World Cup match against Trinidad & Tobago on the giant replay screens. The Twenty20 game starts at 7.15pm.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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