Somerset 238 Lancashire 221-9: Lancashire in flap after Flintoff duck

The disproportionate interest in Andrew Flintoff is not always to Lancashire's liking but as they struggled to match a seemingly modest Somerset first innings score here yesterday a cavalier half-century (or better) from their man to spark a flurry of interview requests would have been welcome indeed.

What they did not need was the mini-frenzy sparked by a first-ball duck, especially in view of what happened in the wake of his last one. For anyone who might have forgotten, it was in the World Cup in 2007, against New Zealand (caught Scott Styris at short cover, bowled Shane Bond), in the Caribbean, and his omission from the team for England's next match, against Canada – not to mention his defrocking as vice-captain – had nothing to do with it.

Happily, a year of repentance down the line, nothing matters more to Flintoff now than to be fit and in form to make the England side picked to face New Zealand again at Lord's, in the first Test on 15 May.

Undecided whether to go forward or back as Peter Trego, Somerset's all-rounder, found just the length to test him, Flintoff did neither, the resultant prod of the bat deflecting the ball neatly into the gloves of wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter. There was no hat-trick. Indeed, had he been watching, which is doubtful, Flintoff might have looked on a touch ruefully as Trego's next ball drifted down the leg side, allowing Luke Sutton, the incoming batsman, to help himself to a boundary.

"I'd love to bowl that one every ball," Trego said later of the delivery of the day. "It was angling and shaped away a foot – ideal. If I knew the formula I'd bottle it and sell it."

Flintoff has another eight potential run-scoring opportunities before the Test team is chosen. Of much more relevance at this stage is the news that the 16 overs he bowled on Wednesday have done no damage to his ankle as he continues his rehabilitation from surgery.

He will be needed to bowl again soon. After a day restricted by rain to 65 overs, Lancashire still trail by 17 runs with only one wicket in hand, which was not what they envisaged at 60 for 0 overnight.

Somerset, far from struggling in the absence of Andrew Caddick, have bowled well, although in overcast, damp conditions, batting was more difficult for Lancashire than it had been for their opponents.

Mark Turner, the former Durham seamer, found some good inswing to remove Iain Sutcliffe and Mal Loye before lunch and moved one away to see off Stuart Law in the afternoon. Charl Willoughby slanted one across Brad Hodge and, later, in between heavy showers, Ben Phillips made swing work in his favour by bowling Sutton and Saj Mahmood with consecutive balls.

Keep up with today's live action. To read lunchtime and teatime reports of these county matches today, go to

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?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back