Davies delights Durham
Durham paceman Mark Davies stole the thunder of team-mate Steve Harmison to help his side out of trouble in their LV County Championship Division One clash with Lancashire at Old Trafford.
The match had been billed as the battle between all-rounder Andrew Flintoff and Harmison with both players vying for an England place in the forthcoming npower Test series with New Zealand.
But the first day was dominated by 27-year-old Durham seamer Davies, who blew the match wide open with career-best figures of 7-33 from 16 overs.
Lancashire were blasted out in their first innings for just 143 inside 55 overs after winning the toss and electing to bat on a fast and bouncy pitch.
Harmison picked up 1-49 off 18 overs and England one-day skipper Paul Collingwood chipped in with 2-14 from 6.1.
But Flintoff and England colleague James Anderson tore back at the visitors on an incredible day of cricket in which 20 wickets fell.
Flintoff claimed four wickets for 21 runs in 11.1 overs as Anderson picked up 4-31 off 13 overs to bowl the visitors out for 114 inside 40 overs.
Despite bowling with the usual pace and control Flintoff will still be worried after his wretched form with the bat showed no signs of ending.
The 30 year-old fell for a golden duck and was one of four Davies’ wickets to fall in a remarkable seven-ball spell that reduced Lancashire from 93 for three to 93 for seven.
After removing Mal Loye, the top-scorer in the home innings with 39, Flintoff, Luke Sutton and Kyle Hogg, Davies then whipped out skipper Stuart Law to make it five wickets in 17 balls.
He had earlier snapped up Mark Chilton and Pakistan Test batsman Mohammad Yousuf.
Flintoff, who has only scored 68 runs in six competitive innings for his county this season, had to contend with his second first-ball duck in two four-day games.
He was out fending outside off stump to Somerset’s Peter Trego two weeks ago and went in a similar fashion here.
Opener Paul Horton was Harmison’s only victim for 25 while England bowling hopeful Sajid Mahmood added a valuable late 31.
Anderson removed Mark Stoneman, stand-in skipper Michael Di Venuto, Collingwood and Phil Mustard.
However, Flintoff continued his good work with the ball to return two spells. His first was a seven-over burst of one for 19.
He had Kyle Coetzer caught by Loye in the slips after the 24 year-old batsman fending a short ball straight up in the air.
And then he returned late in the day to comprehensively remove the Harmison brothers and then top-scorer Mitch Claydon for 40.
Ben Harmison was castled with the middle stump taken out of the ground, Steve Harmison caught behind and Claydon bowled.
Mahmood and Hogg also picked up a wicket apiece as the day finished with a Lancashire lead of 29 runs.