Collingwood to make Twenty20 comeback

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The Independent Online

England captain Paul Collingwood will be fit in time to play for Durham in the Friends Provident t20 this month. Collingwood, who led England to victory in the World Twenty20 last month, is missing from the Test series against Bangladesh because of a shoulder injury.

But he and pace bowler Stuart Broad, another absentee against Bangladesh while he undergoes "intensive strengthening" work, will both be made available for two matches in their counties' Twenty20 campaigns.

Collingwood will return for the Dynamos on 13 June against Derbyshire and the next day against Leicestershire Foxes. Broad will be back for home matches for the Nottinghamshire Outlaws, on 13 and 15 June 13, against Worcestershire and Lancashire.

England and Wales Cricket Board national selector Geoff Miller said: "Paul Collingwood has been progressing well with treatment for his shoulder injury, while Stuart Broad has been working through an intensive strengthening programme – and both players will take part in the Friends Provident t20. Both players are excited by the prospect of playing in what is a challenging and exciting competition."

On Tuesday night Darren Stevens and Geraint Jones were Kent's heroes as they opened their t20 campaign with a six-wicket victory over Essex at Chelmsford.

Replying to a total of 167 for nine, the visitors reached their target with eight balls to spare as Stevens cut loose in the 19th over sent down by Graham Napier. He plundered 18 from five deliveries, the fourth of which was a no-ball that he dispatched for six.

Stevens finished unbeaten with 49 from 28 balls and struck three sixes and three fours. He shared in a stand of 69 with Jones, whose 54 contained six fours and two sixes and arrived from 34 deliveries.

But Jones did receive a huge slice of luck when, with his score on 11, Matt Walker put down a straight forward catch in the covers. He made good his escape to point the way to a victory that always looked on the cards after left-arm spinner Tim Phillips conceded 27 in his only over, the 14th of the innings, that carried Kent to 118.

Earlier, Essex were indebted to an explosive knock from Ryan ten Doeschate. He smashed 98 from only 47 balls before he was run out going for a second run in the final over of the innings. His career-best effort came after Essex lost openers Mark Pettini and Ravi Bopara in the game's first over sent down by Stevens.