The only sign that Lancashire might have been disorientated was that they fielded two players in Chris Schofield’s No 15 shirt, one of whom was Michael Atherton.Durham, conquerors of the one-day specialists, Gloucestershire, in the last round and bidding to reach a knock-out semi-final for the first time in their history, were put in to bat under an uncertain holiday sky and lost Nick Peng to Peter Martin and Danny Law to their former player, John Wood, both for 12. The Queenslander, Martin Love, looked thoroughly dangerous and was particularly severe on a frustrated Flintoff. A switch to spin paid off for Lancashire, Gary Yates trapping Love for 38 off the last ball of his second over. Schofield – the real one – then had Jon Lewis caught and bowled before Yates clean bowled Martin Speight.Paul Collingwood survived this mini collapse and went to his 50 with a six off Schofield. That apart, the spinners had applied the brakes effectively, their 20 overs going for 63, with Yates returning admirable figures of 2 for 23 in only his second appearance of the season.Flintoff returned to hamper Durham further by having Collingwood caught by Atherton for 60, as the Durham innings fell short of 200.Durham had encouragement early in the Lancashire reply with Atherton, still in his borrowed shirt, trapped by Mark Davies and Glen Chapple, a potentially destructive pinch hitter, stumped down the leg side off Law.After that, Flintoff announced his intentions by scoring his first 26 runs in boundaries. When he decided that there was no need to be in quite such a hurry, Fairbrother kept pace with him, launching Graham Bridge for a straight six on his way to his 50 as the pair dominated completely.Flintoff fittingly brought up the century stand with a booming six off Collingwood, his own 50 soon following. By the time Fairbrother holed out off Branch for 73, immediately after blasting him for another six, Lancashire were within touching distance of their target and two fours and a single from Flintoff took them home as he earned himself the man of the match award, ahead of Fairbrother and Yates, whose contributions were arguably just as significant..
England’s Andrew Caddick and Marcus Trescothick had a rare experience yesterday – they tasted victory. Unfortunately, it was not for their country, but rather their county as they played a part in Somerset’s comfortable passage into the semi-finals of the C&G Trophy. England’s Andrew Caddick and Marcus Trescothick had a rare experience yesterday – they tasted victory. Unfortunately, it was not for their country, but rather their county as they played a part in Somerset’s comfortable passage into the semi-finals of the C&G Trophy.
Neither Test player starred, but they each did enough, contributing to what was a sound team performance.
They should also be around at the weekend for the Championship match against Glamorgan, because for the first time this season England have released all their players to turn out for their counties, a move to help them consign the first two Ashes Tests to the back of their mind and pick up something positive on home soil.The Somerset pair should return to international duty in a positive frame of mind. The Somerset effort revived memories of the golden years when Viv Richards, Joel Garner and Ian Botham were helping them to five one-day titles in five seasons between 1979 and 1983; in that haul were two NatWest Trophy triumphs.It has to be said that Kent fielded appallingly A fact freely acknowledged by their captain Matthew Fleming. Runs were donated through overthrows, misfields and worst of all, missed catches. Trescothick was one of the beneficiaries, edging a straightforward catch to Min Patel at second slip when he had scored eight – he had added a further 35 runs before Mark Ealham finally bowled him.Man of the match Mike Burns, the Somerset top-scorer, was also dropped twice, although both chances were towards the end of his innings. He then showed the Kent fielders how to hold on to the ball when he took a blinding catch himself at point to dismiss Ealham.Somerset had what Kent pointedly lacked – more than one batsman who could get quick runs. Ian Blackwell is an impressive player with the bat as his 49-ball 50 showed, in contrast to Kent for whom only Robert Key really displayed any fight.But his near two-and-a-half hour innings needed feistier support. Sadly, none of his upper order team-mates proved capable of providing that.