Flintoff warms up in Mumbai

All-rounder begins tour in fine style as England open with a win

Last Updated: 09/11/08 12:43pm

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Flintoff: Hit three sixes and 12 fours against Mumbai

Flintoff: Hit three sixes and 12 fours against Mumbai

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Andrew Flintoff hit an unbeaten century as England opened their tour of India with a 122-run triumph over a Mumbai Cricket Association XI.

India v England
Watch the opening match of the series LIVE on Sky Sports 1 from 3.30am on Friday, or join skysports.com for over-by-over commentary from Rajkot

"We'll play against better teams on this tour, obviously, but a hundred is a hundred and I've not scored one for ages so I'll take it"
Andrew Flintoff Quotes of the week

The Lancashire all-rounder finished up 101 not out at the Brabourne Stadium as the tourists managed 297-4 in the 12-a-side encounter.

Owais Shah contributed 83 off as many balls while Ian Bell chimed in with 58 as the batsmen put an inexperienced Mumbai attack to the sword.

The England bowlers also enjoyed a useful work-out before the start of the one-day series in Rajkot on Friday, keeping the hosts down to 175-8.

Fine return

James Anderson was the pick of the attack with 3-15, the perfect comeback for the seamer after he was dropped from the team for the money-spinning match against the Stanford Superstars.

However, it was Flintoff's performance that stole the show - the 30-year-old carrying on from where he left off against South Africa at the end of last summer.

He hammered three sixes, the last of which took him to three figures in the closing over, and 12 fours in his 85 ball innings.

It was Flintoff's first ton in any form of cricket since making 102 in the

fourth Ashes Test of 2005, although he needed the odd slice of luck.

Dropped on seven and 25, the right-hander made the most of the let-offs to help add 112 in the final 10 overs. Paul Collingwood finished unbeaten on 22.

Comfortable

"We'll play against better teams on this tour, obviously, but a hundred is a hundred and I've not scored one for ages so I'll take it," Flintoff said.

"I enjoyed it because I feel comfortable about the way I'm playing. I've netted hard since I've been out here and I've been working hard on my batting so it's nice when it comes together and I've been able to score some runs.

"I'm not daft, though, and I know it's a starting point. We're going to be playing against the likes of Harbhajan (Singh) and (Ishant) Sharma in just over a week's time - today was fine but it's not always going to be like that."

Skipper Kevin Pietersen missed out on the chance to get some early runs under his belt as he edged left-arm spinner Nilesh Kulkarni behind.

Opener Matt Prior also fell cheaply, losing his middle stump in the fifth over of the day, but England recovered from the early loss thanks to a 78-run stand between Bell and Shah.

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