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How Freddie Flintoff got back into action

Lancashire's skipper explains how he eased the talismanic England all-rounder back into competitive play in a county clash. Read on...

india Updated: Jul 24, 2006 11:14 IST

Lancashire captain Mark Chilton explained how he tried to ease England allrounder Andrew Flintoff back into competitive play during Kent's first innings of the County Championship clash at Canterbury.

Flintoff bowled an impressive spell on the evening of the first day, taking two Kent wickets in a fierce six-over burst, but he only bowled 13 more overs as Kent amassed 440 all out in response to Lancashire's 218.

While there are no concerns over the ankle injury that kept Flintoff out of the 5-0 one-day series defeat to Sri Lanka and the first-Test draw with Pakistan at Lord's, Chilton was still aware of the need to look after the England captain.

"Just because Fred's playing doesn't mean he's going to bowl you a truck-load of overs," Chilton said. "It's his first game back and you've got to manage him just like you'd manage anyone else.

"We tried to spread the bowling round and make sure all the seamers got a bowl. We were constantly asking him how he felt because we didn't want to over-bowl him and that was probably obvious from the side."

Chilton confirmed Flintoff was "alright but a little bit stiff" after the second day's play.

"Fred's okay but a little bit stiff like all the bowlers," Chilton said. "The bowlers all came off and went straight into the ice baths and to my knowledge Freddie's alright."

The visitors finished the day on 56 for two in their second innings, with Mal Loye (38 not out) and Stuart Law (11no) at the crease, still 166 runs adrift and in need of some Flintoff heroics if they are to avoid an innings defeat.