Somerset 238 Lancashire 60-0: Flintoff shines to improve hopes of quick Test return
Thursday 24 April 2008
Never mind the trials of Michael Vaughan, the good news for England is that Andrew Flintoff continues to look in fine fettle. After a reintroduction against Surrey last week that was necessarily managed carefully, Lancashire let out the leash a little more yesterday. As a result, the all-rounder's prospects of playing in the first Test against New Zealand on 15 May can only have improved.
Six months on from the fourth operation on his left ankle, Flintoff sent down two spells of eight overs from the Stretford End with no sign of discomfort and might have had two wickets in each had Lancashire not been seemingly keen to boost Marcus Trescothick's well-being as well.
The former England opener, playing his first Championship innings since declaring his international career over, opened his season with a typically forceful 77 but only after he had been dropped on 10, 32 and 46, the last twice off Flintoff. Brad Hodge at gully, and then the leg-spinner Simon Marshall at backward point, failed to do the necessary as Trescothick tested his luck against an attacking field.
Flintoff's luck improved in the afternoon as Peter Trego edged a drive to the wicketkeeper Luke Sutton and Craig Kieswetter succumbed leg before to an inswinger. Trescothick's ran out when he edged James Anderson to Stuart Law at second slip, but then it was the Lancashire captain who had been responsible for his first escape, off the same bowler.
Otherwise, only Ian Blackwell scored significantly, lofting a couple of sixes as Marshall had his first Championship bowl since August 2006. After deciding to first before an overcast morning gave way to sunshine, Somerset will feel they should have done better than 238, although given Trescothick's good fortune and Justin Langer's cheap dismissal, it could have been worse.
Lancashire bowled well on a pitch that required accuracy. Without Andy Caddick, still recovering from a back operation, Somerset will struggle to contain Lancashire's reply, which stands at 60 without loss after Paul Horton and Iain Sutcliffe safely negotiated 20 overs last night.
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Ghosts of past cast a massive shadow
Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao? Ricky Hatton, Mike Tyson, Ronda Rousey, George Foreman and more make their predictions
Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Kyle Walker dog video: Tottenham defender categorically denies 'disgusting' rumours
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 The Visit: Trailer for M Night Shyamalan's latest horror film is terrifying
- 5 9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
HSBC review into moving headquarters from UK 'underway'