Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Flintoff Fireworks Light Up England

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Flintoff Fireworks Light Up England

Article excerpt


ANDREW FLINTOFF completed a clean sweep here today while dominating England's seven- wicket victory against Bangladesh.

They love to give an award in this part of the world and Flintoff walked away with all three on offer as best bowler, best batsman and man of the match.

"I've been quite a slow learner over the years and it's taken me longer to get to this stage than I or a lot of other people would have wanted," said the Lancashire allrounder.

Now, though, England are more than happy with Freddie's rate of progress and performances like today's - even against such weak opponents - will keep him heading in the right direction.

Flintoff, in tandem with Ashley Giles, ripped the heart out of Bangladesh's innings on his way to his best international figures of four wickets for 14 runs.

Then, just when England looked to be making heavy weather of chasing a victory target of 144, he hit 55 not out from 52 balls, including nine fours and two sixes.

But it was Flintoff 's shot selection which impressed more than any of his big blows. He blocked the good balls, bashed the bad ones and accumulated ones and twos when they were on offer.

It was all so easy in the end for England that, when Paul Collingwood plundered three consecutive boundaries off legspinner Alok Kapali, victory had been achieved with almost 25 of the available 50 overs to spare.

Flintoff, though, could not afford to take any liberties at 55 for three.

Vikram Solanki looped a leading edge catch to mid-off, Marcus Trescothick handed seamer Mushfiqur Rahman his second success in as many deliveries by cutting straight to gulley and Michael Vaughan lost a tight stumping decision after missing a sweep against Manjaral Islam.

At one stage, however, it looked as though no one would need to make a mark with the bat.

After a steady start against the pace of Richard Johnson and Jimmy Anderson, Bangladesh suddenly showed why their oneday record is even more woeful than their Test statistics. …

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