Flintoff falls first ball in losing Lancashire return

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The Independent Online

Andrew Flintoff endured a dismal return for Lancashire after he was out for a golden duck in Lancashire's Twenty20 Cup defeat by Yorkshire at Old Trafford last night.

It was Flintoff's first appearance for the Red Rose county since being ruled out with a side strain at the start of last month, but he was out first ball to Tim Bresnan as the hosts lost by four runs.

Simon Marshall finished with 3 for 11 as Yorkshire made just 135 for 8. After a rocky start the Tykes made good progress with Gerard Brophy and Anthony McGrath sharing a stand of 59 before the former was caught and bowled for 44. McGrath went for 25 before Flintoff made his first contribution when he dived to catch Jacques Rudolph on the boundary for 23.

Lancashire's response saw Stuart Law fall for one to Bresnan to herald the arrival at the crease of Flintoff. Matthew Hoggard then removed Mal Loye for 17 as Lancashire struggled to 20 for 3. The hosts entered the final over needing 12, and then six off the last ball but could only manage one as Yorkshire claimed a four-run victory.

Also in the North Division England bowler Steve Harmison took two wickets as Durham eased to an eight-wicket victory over Leicestershire. Gareth Breese took 3 for 17 and Harmison 2 for 12 with Paul Nixon offering the greatest resistance with his 35 as the Foxes reached 119 for 8.

Will Smith and Dale Benkenstein guided the hosts across the line as they finished on 123 for 2 with 39 balls remaining.

Nottinghamshire stayed top of the North Division after beating Derbyshire by eight wickets at Derby. Darren Pattinson took 3 for 18 from four overs as Notts reduced the home side to 114 for 8. Adam Voges and Will Jefferson then steered Notts to victory with 45 and 43 respectively with more than three overs left.

Ian Salisbury took 3 for 18 as Warwickshire remained at the top of the Mid/West/Wales Division after beating Worcestershire by 38 runs at Edgbaston.

In the South Division, Middlesex lost their 100 per cent record as they went down to a 25-run defeat by Kent at Beckenham. Kent made 86 for 7 in their weather-affected eight overs, Justin Kemp top-scoring with 28. However, leaders Middlesex could not match this as James Tredwell took three wickets and they only reached 61 for 7.

Essex then took advantage to close the gap at the top of the table to two points after they beat Surrey by 70 runs.