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June 11, 2009
England had a bit of a stutter before making the Super Eights, but their captain Paul Collingwood has said his side weren't intimidated at facing South Africa, who are among the favourites for the World Twenty20.
"Even if you are the best team, it doesn't mean you are going to win the game, as we saw in the IPL and the last Twenty20 World Cup" he said. "It only takes one or two individuals to win the game."
South Africa were ruthless against Scotland and pulled off a last-ball win over New Zealand despite not being in the best of form. They have a batting-order littered with big-hitters, and have the hostile Dale Steyn as their pace spearhead, besides the canny spin pair of Johan Botha and Roelof van der Merwe.
England have already had to handle a tricky couple of spinners, Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal, in the league match against Pakistan. "We want to play them [Botha and van der Merwe] with the same attitude we had the other night against Pakistan. Our approach then went very well," Collingwood said. "We were calculated in how we went about it, the two lads at the top of the order are doing a fantastic job for us, and we continued all the way through, we didn't lose momentum at any stage."
Collingwood was also banking on the raucous home support to lift the team. "The matches have very much a football-style atmosphere," he said. "Actually the national anthem the other day got the hairs up on the back of my neck. It's brilliant, when you take a wicket or do a diving stop or play a great shot you hear a roar. It's not just the polite applause we normally get, it's an actual roar."
With Ashes rivals Australia crashing out in the first round, Collingwood joked that he was upset at missing out on a chance to score an early win. "It's a bit disappointing that they've been knocked out, to be honest," he said. "We set a bit of a marker when we beat them in the Twenty20 game in 2005.
"I'm being very diplomatic, aren't I? Obviously, with the Ashes coming up, if anything can dent their confidence, it's worth our while but it's more about how they respond to getting knocked out," he said.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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