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South Africa v England, Group E, Cape Town

Collingwood rues fielding lapses

Andrew McGlashan at Newlands

September 16, 2007

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Flashpoint: Kevin Pietersen's dismissal undermined England's run-chase © Getty Images
Paul Collingwood put the blame for England's 19-run defeat against South Africa at Newlands on their poor fielding rather than the crucial, and slightly controversial, run-out of Kevin Pietersen. With England chasing 155, Pietersen was dismissed after colliding with Shaun Pollock as he attempted a quick single.

"He [Pietersen] was looking at the fielder and the ball and Pollock, whether he meant it or not, got in his way," explained Collingwood. "He would have got in very easily and that was a bit of bad luck we had tonight, but even with that we still should have knocked those runs off."

Collingwood then suggested that the third umpire could have given Pietersen not out, even though it isn't within his remit. "Sometimes you think common sense would prevail and maybe the third umpire would give him not out.

"If that's something that has to be put into the rules regarding decisions like that I'm not too sure. I don't want to make it a big issue. It was the third umpire's decision and he has to make that quick decision."

Graeme Smith had no issues with the dismissal: "If I felt Shaun did it on purpose I would have called KP back but he was trying to get back to the stumps. It's a big pitch out there and Kevin ran straight at him in the middle of the wicket."

Collingwood said it was England's shoddy catching which let South Africa off the hook after they had been reduced to 94 for 6. At least six chances went down, the most costly of which came when Albie Morkel was on 14. Collingwood, back peddling from midwicket, couldn't get a hand to a steepling top-edge and it appeared a more comfortable chance for Owais Shah running in from long-on.

"It was very noisy out there and I wasn't sure whether Owais had heard my call because I saw him out of the corner of my eye," said Collingwood. "I don't think our ground fielding was too bad, it was the catches and it was very costly in the end. It is something we have to look at. I can hold my hands up on that one and we could have probably bowled South Africa out for maybe 130.

"If they'd have got a score like that it would have put them out of the game - saying that I think we'd have still taken 154 at the start of the day and we were disappointed we didn't knock them off."

Andrew McGlashan is a staff writer on Cricinfo

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Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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