Cricket: Flintoff hits England for six and more

England 375-5 Lahore Gymkhana 238-9 England win by 137 runs
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The Independent Online
ENGLAND'S BOWLERS completed yesterday's warm-up match enthusing about the explosive strokeplay of Andrew Flintoff. Opening their preparation for next week's Coca-Cola Cup tournament in Sharjah with a gentle warm- up against the local side Lahore Gymkhana, the tourists chose to give Vince Wells and Flintoff to the opposition so all 14 squad members could have a run-out ahead of this weekend's tough day-night fixtures against Pakistan A.

Despite completing a comfortable 137-run victory, the most lasting impression was the vision of Gymkhana's No 4 batsman thumping England's first-choice attack to all parts of the picturesque ground on his way to a thrilling 112 off just 67 deliveries.

During 127 minutes of magnificent strokeplay, Flintoff hammered seven sixes - two off Angus Fraser in one over - and 11 other boundaries to leave no one in the ground in any doubt why the selectors chose a 21-year- old who is yet to make his one-day international debut in their World Cup squad.

Only Nick Knight and Graham Thorpe, playing his first innings in match conditions since returning home early from the Ashes tour with back trouble, missed out and Alec Stewart, Graeme Hick, Adam Hollioake and Fairbrother all retired out having scored half-centuries and helping England to a towering total of 375 for 5.

None of their innings matched the intensity and brilliance of Flintoff's display, however, which was only ended when Hollioake, his main rival for the No 6 batting spot in the World Cup team, uprooted his middle stump with a yorker.

England even resorted to trying to kid him out, loudly appealing for a caught behind early in his innings, a ploy which may have worked had they not tried the same trick on Wells.

His departure, and the early loss of Wells for 30 when he failed to spot Ian Austin's slower ball and patted a return catch straight back to the bowler, effectively ended the contest and Gymkhana finished on 238 for 9 after Stewart allowed eight of his bowlers to get their first overs of the trip under their belts.

England won toss

ENGLAND

N V Knight c Adeel

b Khurshid Bhinder 15

A J Stewart ret out 67

G A Hick ret out 81

G P Thorpe b Asim Sheikh 11

N H Fairbrother ret out 58

A J Hollioake ret out 65

M A Ealham c Aamer Gull

b Badar Zaman 36

R D B Croft c and b Asim Sheikh 5

I D Austin lbw b Ata-ur-Rehman 3

D Gough not out 15

Extras (b11 lb5,nb3) 19

Total (for 5, 50 overs) 375

Fall: 1-46 2-179 3-335 4-340 5-371.

Did not bat: A D Mullally.

Bowling: Ata-ur-Rehman 9-0-67-1; Khurshid Bhinder 9-0-68-1; Imran Bucher 4-0-37-0; Asim Sheikh 10-0-57-2; Flintoff 5-0-19-0; Zaben Qadri 6-0-37- 0; Amin Khan 4-0-39-0; Sohail Hussain 1-0-12-0; Badar Zaman 2-0-23-0.

LAHORE GYMKHANA

Badar Zaman b Gough 6

V J Wells c and b Austin 30

Adeel Akhtar c Stewart b Mullally 1

A Flintoff b Hollioake 112

Zaben Qadri c Hick b Croft 30

Imran Bucher c Austin b Hollioake 8

Aamer Gull c Croft b Hick 4

Asim Sheikh c Hollioake b Fraser 8

Khurshid Bhinder not out 19

Amin Khan lbw b Fraser 4

Extras (b2 lb6 w3 nb5) 16

Total (for 9, 50 overs) 238

Fall: 1-18 2-21 3-84 4-141 5-198 6-206 7-206 8-224 9-238.

Did not bat: Ata-ur-Rehman, Sohail Hussain.

Bowling: Gough 8-1-27-1; Mullally 6-0-19-1; Fraser 10-0-66-2; Austin 5-0-31-1; Croft 5-1-15-1; Ealham 5-0-37-0; Hollioake 5-1-23-2; Hick 6- 2-12-1.

Umpires: M Iqbal and J Ashraf.

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