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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 May, 2005, 16:23 GMT 17:23 UK
Flintoff shines in Lancashire win
C&G Trophy, second round, Old Trafford
Lancashire beat Essex 195-9 by six wickets

A Flintoff
Flintoff was the pick of the bowlers on either side at Old Trafford

England and Lancashire hero Andrew Flintoff took 4-26 to knock Essex out of the C&G Trophy, his team triumphing by six wickets at Old Traffod.

Essex manaegd just 195-9 in their 50 overs, with Ravi Bopara's the best of a moderate set of individual scores.

Flintoff bowled a full 10-over allotment which crucially yielded the wickets of both Flower brothers.

Lancashire's reply was built around Brad Hodge's 82, with victory coming with exactly six overs remaining.

Alex Tudor marked his return to the Essex fold with the wickets of openers Mal Loye and Stuart Law, but it was always going to be tough to defend a score below 200.

"I felt good and my rhythm felt great," said Flintoff, who has persuaded England to allow him to play in Lancashire's upcoming Championship match against Somerset in Taunton.

"I think I'm probably about 85% and I'm getting the ball down at good pace with little effort - it's nice when it happens like that because it doesn't happen to me very often for me, but today was one of those days.

"I spoke to David Graveney and expressed an interest to play this weekend because I don't think a week off would do me any good at this stage - it's a long time between now and Thursday and I'd like to have another bat and I'd like to get a few more overs under my belt.

"I've started to improve with the bat a bit over the last few weeks and I've felt more comfortable than I have for a while.

"I didn't want a break just going in the nets against a bowling machine, I wanted to get some batting practice and some miles in the legs."

Lancashire captain Mark Chilton understandably was happy to be fielding Flintoff.

"It's been really good having Freddie in the side," enthused Chilton, who contributed 40 to a 112-run third wicket stand with Hodge.

"He played really well with the bat for us on Sunday and I thought he was excellent with the ball today.

"He makes it hard by not giving too many runs away and whenever there is something in the wicket, he seems to find it and he was a real handful.

"I think he probably went up a gear with his bowling and right from the off he was on the button and we were able to keep attacking fields to him throughout."




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Lancashire all-rounder Andrew Flintoff



SEE ALSO
C&G Trophy quarter-final draw
17 May 05 |  Counties


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