Brief encounter for Andrew Flintoff return

Published: Wednesday, July 19, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:England captain Andrew Flintoff's hopes of proving his fitness for the second Test against Pakistan suffered a setback when his return to first class cricket lasted just 10 minutes.

Flintoff, who has been dogged by an ankle injury, made just four runs before he was out edging Tyrone Henderson in Lancashire's county championship match against Kent at Canterbury.

Later in the day, Flintoff returned to produce a good performance with the ball to make up for his disappointing batting.

Flintoff bowled with his customary venom in taking two for 11 in an opening six-over spell that saw him knock Robert Key's off stump out with his very first ball.

He returned for a further four-over burst to finish with figures of two for 16 from 10 overs including three maidens.

Flintoff also took a magnificent one-handed slip catch to dismiss David Fulton off the bowling of Glen Chapple, as he consigned his batting failure to memory.

Kent finished on 131 for four, still 87 runs behind Lancashire's first innings.

Flintoff, who had been England captain in the absence of the injured Michael Vaughan, was forced to miss his country's recent one-day series against Sri Lanka, as well as the first Test against Pakistan at Lord's which ended in a draw on Monday.

But the all-rounder played in two Twenty20 matches recently, as well as taking part in a net session at Lord's this week.

He hopes to play in the second Test at his home ground Old Trafford on July 27.

Flintoff's Lancashire and England team-mate James Anderson faces an uncertain future as he struggles to recover from a back injury.

Anderson, 23, suffered a stress fracture during England's winter tour to India and has not played since.

Lancashire coach Mike Watkinson revealed on Tuesday that the pace bowler is some way from full fitness and told Sky Sports News: "One thing we are not doing is putting a date on when he can return.

"We will step up his bowling workload and hope that will result in him playing some cricket by the end of the season."

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