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Flintoff on course - Coach

All-rounder's bowling impresses opponents

Flintoff: return to action

Lancashire coach Mike Watkinson was pleased with Andrew Flintoff's first competitive bowl since undergoing a fourth operation on his left ankle.

"He seemed to be coming through quite nicely."

Mark Butcher

Quotes of the week

Flintoff delivered 28 overs - spanning two days - for figures of 1-72 during Surrey's first innings of 537-5 declared at the Oval.

And Watkinson explained the all-rounder had come into the match fully prepared for that level of workload.

"He's had first days, second days and third days before because that is the way we have structured his comeback, making him bowl on consecutive days," said Watkinson.

"We knew he was capable of doing what he has done in this match, he has bowled well and he's feeling fine."

Surrey skipper Mark Butcher, one of his side's three centurions, was impressed by Flintoff's bowling.

"He seemed to be coming through quite nicely," said Butcher.


"He's obviously a quality bowler, who goes at two an over pretty much in any cricket he plays in and is always asking questions."

Butcher was also delighted with his side's batting in the County Championship opener and hopes it sets the tone for a run-filled summer.

Mark Ramprakash - who has scored 2,000 runs during each of the last two seasons - began his campaign with 118, his 98th first-class century.

Butcher and Usman Afzaal, recruited from Northamptonshire during the winter, also reached three figures.

"As a batting unit, Ramprakash aside, we had a pretty hit-and-miss time last year," admitted Butcher.

"It is important this year that a lot of people got a score on the board and got us off to a decent start.

"If he happens to get out, someone else has to get one but the way it was last year he scored his runs and everybody else's as well.

"We won't put that sort of burden on him this year."

On Afzaal's chanceless 134 not out, he added: "I don't think I have seen him bat at the Oval without him getting a hundred.

"He's a great player and we're very pleased to have him."