Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Flintoff's Century Is Consolation

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Flintoff's Century Is Consolation

Article excerpt

New skipper Michael Vaughan hailed Andrew Flintoff's brilliant finale to England's second Test hammering by South Africa and predicted it could be his breakthrough innings at international level.

The Lancashire all-rounder's superb 142 off only 146 balls, which included five sixes and 18 fours, prevented England surrendering completely and denied South Africa an even more emphatic victory than their innings and 92-run triumph.

It was Flintoff's highest Test score, beating his only previous century against New Zealand at Christchurch two winters ago and continued a rich vein of form from the recent one-day triangular tournament.

His display was so commanding, hitting the normally economical Shaun Pollock for 20 in one over, that Vaughan believes he can now really establish himself as a Test all-rounder after 25 appearances when he has generally under-performed.

"When any player plays a big Test innings it gives them immense confidence and the way that he played, the opposition he was up against and being in front of a full house at Lord's will give him a huge confidence boost going into the next game and hopefully for the future," enthused Vaughan.

"I thought Freddie was outstanding with the ball on Saturday but without any luck and he actually told me that night that he wanted to have a bet to see if he could get a hundred, but I told him we weren't allowed.

"He was pretty confident and I'm glad to see him playing in a confident manner because he's a huge asset to this team."

Unlike his previous century in New Zealand, after which Flintoff scored only two half-centuries in his next 14 innings, Vaughan believes this time he could really build on his performance and finally find some consistency at Test level.

"He got a hundred in New Zealand and then he stood still a bit, but hopefully this can really trigger him off into some kind of form and keep him playing the way he has done," said Vaughan. …

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