Anderson leads Lancs home
James Anderson stole centre stage from Andrew Flintoff to bowl Lancashire to a three-day victory over Durham at Old Trafford.
Anderson claimed five wickets to finish the visitors off with ease for just 90 on a cloudy morning, and wrap up this LV Division One match with a winning margin of 232 runs.
Flintoff’s England team-mate Anderson claimed 5-46 as last season’s runners-up simply capitulated.
His first deed was to drop a regulation chance at slip to reprieve nightwatchman Mark Davies and deny Flintoff a fourth wicket of the innings.
Three balls later, Flintoff was again frustrated as short-leg Mohammad Yousuf very nearly hung on to what would have been an outstanding catch from Michael Di Venuto’s firm push off the full face of the bat.
The Australian therefore survived on 16 - but his overnight partner Davies got only as far as the next over before Anderson had him lbw aiming to leg.
Garry Park, who had on Thursday bowled Flintoff for a third successive championship duck, managed only two himself as Anderson got him to follow a short-of-a-length delivery and nick behind to give wicketkeeper Luke Sutton his fourth catch of five in the innings.
There was fleeting consternation when Flintoff made his way off the field shortly afterwards, having bowled five overs this morning.
But it transpired he was not suffering any significant setback in his recovery from a fourth operation on his left ankle and was merely taking a comfort break.
Sajid Mahmood replaced him at the Brian Statham end, but it was Mark Chilton’s fielding which was to bring about the next and most important wicket.
Phil Mustard pushed Mahmood to cover, and opener Di Venuto had to be sent back after setting off for an ambitious single. Chilton did the rest with a direct hit.
Mustard himself lasted little longer, edging Anderson high to second slip, and the England hopeful struck again in his 11th straight over when Ben Harmison flashed another catch behind.
With Flintoff on a watching brief at slip, Mahmood and Anderson applied the finishing touches to a disappointing Durham effort.
Mitch Claydon was lbw to Mahmood, who then took a simple catch at mid-off to make Steve Harmison Anderson’s final wicket and put Durham out of their misery around 20 minutes before lunch - with five full sessions unused.