'It's important to get on the honours board'
Friday 14 July 2006
Paul Collingwood had every right to sit back on his laurels last night after scoring his second Test century and getting on the famous honours board in the home dressing-room at Lord's.
But instead the gritty North-easterner was planning on giving the beleaguered Pakistan attack more of the same when the first Test resumes today.
"I feel more secure about my place in the team," said the 30-year-old Collingwood after four and a half hours at the crease during which time he and his fellow centurion, Alastair Cook, piled up a record fourth-wicket partnership for England against Pakistan, a mark now standing at 221.
"But I know that I am always playing for my place. You do that all the time. And tomorrow we have to go out there and be as ruthless as we can be."
Yet the Durham all-rounder, who scored his maiden Test hundred in the first Test against India in Nagpur in March, is clearly enjoying the fact that he has earned a place on the famed honours board at cricket's HQ.
"We had talked about it a couple of days ago, how it would be great to get a hundred here. My maiden century was good but there is a difference between playing in Nagpur and playing at Lord's. Lord's is a special place and it is important getting up on that board."
There were odd dodgy moments in the pair's partnership, not least when Cook, who scored his maiden hundred in the second innings at Nagpur, was on a nervous and seemingly everlasting 99.
Eventually, Collingwood appeared to almost force the Essex youngster into taking that all-important single in the penultimate over, risking being run out himself. Cook explained: "It was terrible. I don't know what happened with that single. I thought God he's [Collingwood's] quick. I didn't even look back to see if he'd made it. But he pissed it."
He also acknowledged that he could have fallen without a run to his name. "I should have been out on nought," he said referring to the awful mess that the Pakistani slips got into when second slip Imran Farhat dived across first, unsighting him. "But you have to cash in your luck, make the most of it."
Neither Collingwood nor Cook wanted to dwell too long on their exploits, Cook saying: "It is still only the first day. We wanted to get off to a good start but we need some more good days now."
As for Pakistan who overnight had lost the services of Younis Khan, their specialist fielder at second slip, to injury they were left ruing missed chances. He was replaced by the inexperienced Imran, who contrived to drop three chances, two of them very straightforward ones.
Waqar Younis, the Pakistan bowling coach, admitted that his side's fielding display five simple catches were put down had cost them dearly.
"We bowled really well but unfortunately the fielders didn't really support much," he said. "This is the first time a lot of the boys have played at Lord's so there were a lot of tense bodies. I thought they did well.
"Lord's has its own mysteries and it can make you tense. We have been catching really well but it's here in England it can be difficult, because the ball swings after it passes the stumps. It takes a while to get used to the conditions. We also missed Younis Khan, who is a very safe pair of hands. "
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