Flintoff falls first ball
Andrew Flintoff has a maximum eight more chances to go into the Lord’s Test with runs under his belt, after suffering a first-ball duck against Somerset.
Flintoff, hoping to make his first England appearance against New Zealand next month since a fourth bout of surgery on his left ankle last autumn, has impressed as a bowler on his comeback so far.
But the all-rounder is likely to need runs as well as wickets if he is to convince the selectors to pick him to face the Kiwis in the first match of a three-Test npower series.
Instead, he fell immediately to a good ball from Somerset seamer Peter Trego on the second afternoon of the LV Division One match at Old Trafford.
Trego - who had just bowled opener Paul Horton (64) - sent Flintoff packing with a perfectly-pitched length ball which left him, on the front-foot defence.
The edge was safely collected by wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter, as Lancashire replied to Somerset’s 238 all out with 221 for nine on a rain-shortened day.
For Trego and Kieswetter, it was a measure of revenge - they both fell to Flintoff in a heartening bowling performance from him on Wednesday.
Trego’s hat-trick bid failed when his next ball drifted on to the legs of new batsman Luke Sutton, who tucked it away for four.
Mark Turner was Somerset’s most successful and deserving bowler - with a championship best three for 53.
His first victim was Iain Sutcliffe, who had helped Horton put on an unbroken 60 last night but soon discovered - after rain forced a late start at 12.30pm - that batting would be tougher on Wednesday.
Both Turner and Charl Willoughby began to find regular swing as the ground moved in and out of cloud cover.
The former Durham seamer’s reward came first when he produced a vicious, inswinging yorker to see off Sutcliffe - who almost got bat on ball but was just undone by the late dip to be lbw.
Turner quickly doubled up by getting Mal Loye lbw too, this time with a delivery which held its line and kept low.
In swinging conditions, any lateral movement off the pitch was likely to be lethal - and that is what did for Brad Hodge, lining up left-armer Willoughby for a stock ball coming back into him and instinctively following the away seam movement on the back foot to be well caught behind.
Two wickets had therefore gone down for one run in successive overs, and suddenly for Lancashire lunch could not come soon enough.
For Horton, though, there was some satisfaction before the break - after his 10th boundary brought up a hard-working 101-ball half-century.
His new partner Stuart Law began scratchily with edges short of and then between the slips.
But nothing went to hand, and Lancashire were hinting at restored well-being until Trego interrupted progress in early afternoon.
After Horton had gone attempting an ambitious drive - and Flintoff followed - Law edged behind to give Turner his third wicket.
Glen Chapple also went before tea, lbw pushing forward to leg-spinner Michael Munday, as Somerset scented a handy first-innings lead.
A sensible eighth-wicket stand of 53 between Sutton and Simon Marshall appeared then to put Lancashire back just ahead of a game they had once seemed likely to dominate.
But after a late break for rain, Lancashire must have wished they had not returned for just four overs still possible before stumps.
In that time, Ben Phillips bowled Sutton with a full-length delivery and then became the second man to put himself on a hat-trick when Sajid Mahmood put another golden duck in the scorebook, undone by another fine delivery which trimmed the top of middle stump.
Phillips served up a much better ball than Trego had earlier - but Marshall was equal to it.