Hampshire 327 & 130 Lancashire 295 & 34-0: Flintoff impresses with ball to press claim for England recall

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The Independent Online

Andrew Flintoff boosted his hopes of an England recall here by contributing two wickets as Lancashire edged towards a win over Hampshire.

Flintoff, eager to prove form and fitness before England choose their team for the second Test at Headingley next week, got through two lively spells of bowling in a total of 11 overs and removed Sean Ervine and Nic Pothas in his first spell.

Lancashire need only 129 more runs today for a third win of the season after Hampshire's feeble batting was swept aside.

Hampshire began their second innings with a first-innings lead of 32 but were shot out for 130 when they batted again, leaving Lancashire a target of 163. The opening batsmen Lou Vincent and Paul Horton knocked off 34 of those in the 11 overs remaining of the third day's play.

Lancashire began the day at 229 for 5 and their last five wickets added a further 66, the brakes being applied by the Hampshire captain, Dimitri Mascarenhas. Mascarenhas ran through the tail to finish with figures of six for 67.

The main Lancashire resistance came from the wicketkeeper Luke Sutton, who hit eight fours in his 55 before he was last out, to Chris Tremlett at 295.

Mascarenhas took three wickets for five runs in seven balls, dismissing Glen Chapple, Dominic Cork and Sajid Mahmood in a devastating burst.

When Hampshire batted again they were soon in trouble, being reduced to 9 for 2 in the first four overs, Michael Carberry being out to the third ball he had faced for the second time in the match without scoring.

John Crawley swiftly followed to a catch by Flintoff in the slips and Hampshire never recovered.

Ervine edged Flintoff to second slip where Stuart Law failed to take the catch but the rebound was snapped up by Horton.

Pothas, top scorer in the first innings with 62, made only eight before losing his middle stump to a superb Flintoff delivery.

Flintoff came back for a further spell of five overs without taking a wicket. He twice struck Michael Lumb painful blows on the forearm and right hand and also rapped Greg Lamb on the hand. Lumb was one of the few Hampshire batsmen to offer prolonged resistance.

The last man James Tomlinson offered solid support in a stand of 37 in 15 overs for the last wicket. When Tomlinson was caught behind off Steven Croft, Lumb was 49 not out in an innings which included six fours.

Chapple, who took three wickets in the first innings, followed that with three for 22 to give him match figures of six for 55 and there were also two wickets for Mahmood. He dismissed both Lamb and Mascarenhas.