Andrew Flintoff struck a quickfire half-century but it wasn't enough as Lancashire failed to chase down Middlesex's score of 176 in their Twenty20 quarter-final at The Oval last night. The hero for the not-quite home side – the Crusaders had been forced to switch the tie from Lord's, where the first Test begins tomorrow – was Dawid Malan, who struck an imperious century.
The South African-raised 20-year-old reached three figures from just 51 balls with six sixes and 10 fours as he rescued the Crusaders from 21 for four.
Flintoff took three for 17 after the Middlesex captain Ed Joyce won the toss and elected to bat. Owais Shah (1) was promoted to open the innings but lasted only two deliveries, while fellow opener Billy Godleman also only made a single before edging a delivery from Cork into Flintoff's hands at first slip.
There was an element of controversy about Joyce's dismissal on eight when he was adjudged by umpire Richard Illingworth to have gloved a short delivery from Cork. Joyce pointed to his arm before he left the middle.
It got worse for the Crusaders when Ben Scott (one) fell to a stunning catch at backward point by Francois du Plessis off Flintoff .
Then came Malan. He twice hit three sixes in an over and received good support from Eoin Morgan (35) during a fifth-wicket stand of 80 in nine overs. Morgan was bowled behind his legs by Steven Croft but Malan went on to become the first Middlesex player to score a Twenty20 hundred before Flintoff returned to have him caught by Law.
Lancashire needed to score at 8.85 runs an over but they made a disastrous start. Steven Finn trapped Gareth Cross lbw for nought and Lou Vincent (one) perished in the same fashion to Tim Murtagh. It became 14 for three when Law (11) lobbed a Murtagh delivery to Udal.
Flintoff added 54 with Du Plessis before the latter on 18 fell to a good running catch by Finn at deep extra cover off Murali Kartik. Flintoff needed only 32 balls to complete his 50 but had added only three more when he pulled a Finn full toss to Malan at deep square leg to leave Lancashire on 97 for five.
Steven Croft hit a quickfire 16 and Glenn Chapple 22 off 12 balls as the light started to fade but the target proved beyond Lancashire.Reuse content