Fit Flintoff warms up on bowling return

Lancashire 252-7 Middlesex 195 Lancashire win by 57 runs

The only news that could dampen the euphoria would be that Barcelona have agreed terms for "Freddie" Flintoff. The giant all-rounder has been breezily blasting county attacks for a month while forbidden by England to bowl, saving a bruised shoulder.

The only news that could dampen the euphoria would be that Barcelona have agreed terms for "Freddie" Flintoff. The giant all-rounder has been breezily blasting county attacks for a month while forbidden by England to bowl, saving a bruised shoulder.

Yesterday afternoon he signalled that he was fully fit by making a spectacular boundary stop, throwing 70 yards and then bowling again for the first time since 11 May. After a slightly erratic start, he trapped the dangerous Abdul Razzaq with a beauty, a late break back.

Curiously, he played a significant part, too, when batting for his comparative failure, a mistimed pull when 11, was the only time that Middlesex might have felt they had a chance of winning. Lancashire were then 141 for 4 off 33 overs.

The pitch had been used before and was consequently bumpy and devious - hence the match award for Mal Loye's circumspect 74 in 42 overs.

Lancashire could have lost both their openers to slip catches in the first two overs and needed 17 overs to reach 69 when Iain Sutcliffe, driving, was betrayed by the bounce. Neither Stuart Law nor Carl Hooper managed to settle and when Flintoff also departed quickly the ground fell silent.

Yet this Lancashire are also resilient and Loye, Mark Chilton and, finally, Glen Chapple ensured that Middlesex would have to top 250 to win.

Sure enough, the descent was precipitous. James Anderson was bowling quickly enough for one ball to thud into Warren Hegg's gloves while Andy Strauss was still on the down stroke. At the other end Peter Martin was probing for every nick and crack.

Paul Weekes cover drove Anderson for four and then cut uppishly to cover; Owais Shah was beaten off the pitch; Ed Joyce and David Nash edged behind. Then, after 20 overs, came Flintoff, to dispose of Razzaq, leaving Hooper and the seamers to gentle proceedings along to an inevitable close.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent