Flintoff makes hay on comeback
Andrew Flintoff hit an energetic 56 on his comeback from a side strain for Lancashire's second XI against their Durham counterparts at Alderly Edge.
Having not bowled in Durham's innings Flintoff walked to the crease at number four as Lancashire attempted to chase down a target of 358 in 76 overs.
Having nudged the first ball for a single the 30-year-old proceeded to move quickly onto an unbeaten 32 before lunch, powering six fours in a fluent 40 minute knock.
Flintoff picked up where he had left off after the interval and, showing no signs of the side strain he suffered last month, looked in ominous form as he crashed an almighty blow out of the ground to signal his fifty.
He went on to threaten the glazing in the pavilion with a brutally struck four shortly afterwards but the all-rounder's promising innings was brought to a premature halt when, having made 56, he was surpisingly caught by Uzair Mahomed off the bowling of Karl Turner.
However, he could be poised for a dramatic return to the Lancashire side after just one second-team outing.
The England all-rounder’s fitness will be assessed in the hours leading up to the Twenty20 Cup match against Yorkshire.
Second XI coach Gary Yates said: “The first team will know in the morning how he has held up and whether he joins them (against Yorkshire).
“Andrew is looking fit, not overweight, and quite strong. He is getting there.
“He is not feeling anything from his side and that is pleasing. But he will be need to be assessed again.”
Flintoff quickly got into his stride in front of a bigger-than-average crowd at the picturesque Cheshire ground and Yates added: “Andrew had a decent touch for someone who has not batted for so long.
“The only mistake he has made he has paid for it. But he has got 50 under his belt and his time at the crease will be important for him.
“I was hoping he would bat a bit longer but it was a patient innings by Andrew.”
Flintoff’s innings came off 73 balls and included one six and 10 fours.