Paul Collingwood’s customary grit failed to sand over cracks in
England’s top order on the opening day of their tour match against South

Collingwood’s 94 rescued the wobbly tourists after
stringbean Redbacks paceman Peter George caused lingering doubts to
remain over several English batsmen.

England posted 8(dec)-288 before SA replied with 0-26 at stumps on day one at Adelaide Oval on Thursday.

Collingwood and Ian Bell (61) banked substantial totals, the rest of
the top order failed to cash in, particularly out-of-sorts Alastair Cook
and Kevin Pietersen.

Both Pietersen and Cook have been starved
of Test runs this year, and blew a golden opportunity for substantial
totals against the Redbacks.

Pietersen struck five boundaries and
a six in an action packed 33 but was caught in the deep when attempting
to again clear the fence with a hook shot.

Cook, who has made
only 226 runs in his past 10 Test digs, plodded to 32 from 91 deliveries
in an attempt to graft his way into form.

But the English vice-captain then destroyed his solid platform, lazily wafting at a wide one to be caught behind.

soft dismissals – and those of captain Andrew Strauss (four) and
Jonathon Trott (12) – contrasted with Collingwood, who blended
aggression with stout defence in a 116-ball innings laced with 13
boundaries and a six.

The evergreen Englishman took an optimistic approach to the offerings of the rest of the top order.

“We are progressing into a lot of confidence among the batters,” Collingwood said.

have still got a long way to go … we need obviously those guys who
get a start to go on and make the big ones, that is going to be the

“You need the guys who get in to make the big hundreds.

Collingwood impressed, Bell was the most stylish, producing some
textbook drives and back foot shots – before being inexplicably bowled
between bat and pad by a straight Ben Edmondson delivery when well set.

Edmondson claimed 2-73, but George was the pick of SA’s bowlers, enhancing his status on the fringe of further Test honours.

who played one Test against India last month, took 3-65 from 17 overs
and produced movement and bounce which troubled the tourists.

“He obviously got the ball in decent areas,” Collingwood said.

“He has got some skill there so I’m sure the selectors will be looking at him.”