Flintoff comes through NCL game

England’s talismanic all-rounder Andrew Flintoff completed a full 45-overs Totesport league first division game for county side Lancashire at Old Trafford yesterday, as his quest to prove his fitness for the Ashes continues.

Flintoff, who missed the ODI series in South Africa to undergo surgery in order to remove a calcified spur from his ankle, played only as a batsman and was helpless but to watch his Lancashire side fritter away a dominant position in the field after reducing Middlesex to 37-6. Jamie Dalrymple struck 81 as the visitors recovered to post 210-9.

Lancashire lost three early wickets before Flintoff came to the crease, and took ten deliveries to get off the mark – but was soon into his stride as he struck 17 runs, including three boundaries, off the next twelve deliveries he faced before Scott Styris surprised everyone in the ground by trapping him LBW.

Styris went on to take 2-20 as Lancashire subsided to 141 all out, and a 69 run defeat. Nevertheless, for England fans all that mattered was that their hero’s recovery was well on track.

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