Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Flintoff Rampage as Durham Crash Again

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Flintoff Rampage as Durham Crash Again

Article excerpt

Byline: By Luke Edwards

Lancashire (188-5) beat Durham (186-8) by five wickets

England's Andrew Flintoff produced a stunning display of big hitting to condemn Durham to a second successive home Norwich Union League defeat.

Durham, just a day after their embarrassing four- wicket defeat to Scotland, had once again failed to take command with their overall batting display, although Gary Pratt did weigh in with an impressive 66 not out.

But Durham fought back well in the field to leave Lancashire marginally behind in the run chase at the halfway point of their rain-reduced 44 overs.

Javagal Srinath led the way with an unwavering line and length and got his reward when Pratt added a superb diving catch to his efforts with the bat, stretching to his left at cover to remove Iain Sutcliffe.

Dewald Pretorius then struck twice to account for Mark Chilton and Mal Loye and then Stephen Harmison claimed the key wicket of Australian international Stuart Law.

But at 78-4 in stepped Flintoff for a blistering bout of big hitting with Michael Gough and Harmison both feeling the might of his swinging willow.

A no-ball from Gough did not help matters, Flintoff hit the free ball straight over the long on boundary for six and it did not seem fair that his occasional spin should be laid in front of such a powerful player in such rich form. But Harmison, who continues to harbour ambitions to become a regular in the England one-day side, fared almost as badly, with two successive fours hit off one over, the second of which should have been given as a six, just clearing the deep mid-wicket rope.

When the Lancashire all-rounder finally walked back to the pavilion he was just eight runs short of his half-century, the fact 38 of his 42 runs had come in boundaries tells its own story.

His partnership of 64 from just over eight over with Alec Swann, who carried his bat for 73, proved the difference between the two sides and means Durham desperately need a win over Berkshire in the Cheltenham and Gloucester Trophy tomorrow to kickstart their one-day campaign. …

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