Elated Collingwood heaps praise on opening combine

Elated Collingwood heaps praise on opening combine

After scoring a comfortable seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Thursday’s semifinal in which the openers provided a 68-run start, the English skipper said it was the spark they needed to fire which has taken them to a final of a major ICC tournament after six years.

“Sometimes, there are finishing pieces to a jigsaw,” said Collingwood, referring to the duo at the top. “We had some very good players but what we needed was a spark at the top of the order. Maybe everyone has seen it as a gamble but we certainly selected them on potential and we knew what they could do. They have come and batted fantastically well and really helped the middle-order overcome totals.

Collingwood was delighted with his bowlers’ efforts on a pitch which he termed a ‘very good’ one to bat. “We lost the toss today on what I thought was a very good pitch, but the bowlers adapted superbly well again and the fielding was spot-on. We took our catches and restricted the opponents to a very gettable total on that surface,” he pointed out.

One curious part of the Lankan run in this tournament has been Kumar Sangakkara’s persistence with Sanath Jayasuriya, who did nothing of note. The Lankan skipper, however, felt the team should have been able to cover for the veteran’s lack of form.

“Unfortunately, he didn’t have a great run but to his credit he stuck with the team through a difficult period and the team stuck with him,” Sangakkara said. “He showed a lot of support and we made sure he felt wanted.

“Unfortunately he didn’t deliver but we still had more than enough quality to do better than we did today.”