Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Flintoff Sparks off England Day of Joy

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Flintoff Sparks off England Day of Joy

Article excerpt

Byline: By Myles Hodgson

Andrew Flintoff reclaimed the spotlight from the more celebrated members of England's attack in the third Test yesterday.

Watched by a capacity 18,000 crowd filled predominantly by English fans, the Lancashire all-rounder stepped forward to claim his maiden five-wicket Test haul and dismiss West Indies for a lowly 224 on the first day at the Kensington Oval.

England lost Marcus Trescothick early once again in reply before reaching 20 for one by the close of the first day.

Flintoff prompted a collapse after tea on the opening day with West Indies losing seven for 57 in just 18 overs to fully justify the surprise decision of England captain Michael Vaughan to bowl first on a wicket which usually suits the side batting first.

Despite England claiming two wickets inside the first 11 overs of the day - Hoggard and Harmison both winning debatable leg before appeals against openers Chris Gayle and Daren Ganga - later West Indies were comfortably placed at tea to post their first competitive total of the series. Having reached 155 for three with Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul both well set, Vaughan's decision looked anything but vindicated until shortly after the interval.

It was then that Harmison and Flintoff combined, and the momentum of the day changed dramatically.

Sarwan had battled for over three hours at the crease for his impressive 63, which had included six fours, when Harmison finally tempted him into a loose shot, driving at a full-length ball which seamed away and, after three previous dropped catches, Flintoff demonstrated how it was done by taking the regulation catch at second slip.

That dismissal started the West Indies collapse with Ryan Hinds unable to resist an opportunity to pull Harmison, but only succeeded in picking out Simon Jones on the boundary to take the Durham fast bowler to 19 victims in the series.

But after earlier removing West Indies captain Brian Lara, Flintoff also claimed the scalp of the next most influential player in their line-up by removing Chanderpaul. …

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