Flintoff caught cold by Ali strike as Worcestershire take command

Lancashire 196
Worcestershire 59-1

At a time when counties are being encouraged to work together for the good of a common cause, namely the England team, Worcestershire were yesterday guilty of acting in a rather uncharitable manner.

At a time when counties are being encouraged to work together for the good of a common cause, namely the England team, Worcestershire were yesterday guilty of acting in a rather uncharitable manner. When Lancashire's Stuart Law was caught down the leg-side by the wicketkeeper, Jamie Pipe, the stage was set for Worcestershire to play their part in helping Andrew Flintoff find the form which could help England regain the Ashes.

But Kabir Ali and Graeme Hick, present and former England team-mates of Flintoff, had other ideas. Ali, the Worcestershire fast bowler, would love to be playing for England with the Lancashire all-rounder during the summer, and he did his chances no harm when he dismissed the 27-year-old before he had troubled the scorers.

Matt Mason was the pick of Worcestershire's attack but it was Ali who kick-started the home side's recovery when dismissing Law, Flintoff and Malachy Loye in a six-over spell. At one stage it looked as though Lancashire would struggle to reach 150, but a 66-run partnership between Warren Hegg and James Anderson gave the visitors an air of respectability. Hegg's fifty came off 39 balls.

On a slow seaming pitch, Lancashire's 196 could be competitive, especially if the visitors bowl as wisely as their opponents. And Dominic Cork gave Lancashire the perfect start when he trapped Stephen Moore for nought in the second over of Worcestershire's reply, but this proved to be their only success.

Hick was dropped by Mark Chilton at third slip on 15 and by the close he looked ominous on 32. Lancashire will need to get rid of him early today if they want to stay in the contest.

Ali found the outside edge of Flintoff's bat with a delivery he could do little about. Flintoff's uncontrolled push flew to Hick at second slip.

"I was probably a little eager and went after one I could have left," Flintoff said. "But the ankle felt fine. I don't know when I will be back bowling again, it's very much day to day at the moment."

Lancashire's openers looked in little trouble against the new ball. But with the first ball after lunch, Chaminda Vaas bowled Iain Sutcliffe. Vaas took two further wickets before Mason cleaned up the tail.

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

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there