Flintoff starts Ashes build-up with a blob

Published: Thursday, April 28, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Andrew Flintoff's build-up to the Ashes got off to the worst possible start when his long-awaited return to the County championship proved a flop.

The England star, who was returning to action following a January operation on a bone spur, fell to a fifth ball duck as Lancashire slipped to 196 all out against Worcestershire at New Road.

The home side reached 59 for one in reply on the opening day.

England opener Marcus Trescothick also had a disappointing day as he could only contribute four runs to Somerset's 119 for five in their rain-hampered match with Essex at Taunton.

Glamorgan were struggling in their rain-delayed encounter with Surrey with Mohammad Akram, in particular, profiting from some slack Welsh batting at Cardiff.

The Pakistani-born pace bowler finished the day with figures of four for 62 including that of home captain Robert Croft.

And Croft will have been glad to see the end of a day which saw his side reduced to 238 for nine before stumps.

Floodlights were used for the first time in a championship match when Derbyshire's 200,000-pound lights were turned on in their match against Northamptonshire.

Umpires Vanburn Holder and Trevor Jesty gave the signal for the six pylons to be turned on at Derby's County Ground shortly before 16.00 local time (15.00GMT) but the historic event was short-lived.

Only one ball was bowled before rain stopped play with Northants 206 without loss after Derbyshire had put them into bat.

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