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England win tour opener

November 09, 2008 20:11 IST

Andrew Flintoff [Images] belted an unbeaten 85-ball 100 to help England [Images] win the opening match of their tour of India with an authoritative 122-run victory over the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) on Sunday.

Riding on Flintoff's unbeaten century, England reached 297 for four and then resricted the hosts 175 for eight their 50 overs.

With the century, Flintoff also announced his return to international cricket as the all-rounder has been beset by injuries and this was his first ton since the 2005 Trent Bridge Test in Ashes series against Australia [Images].

But the stardy all-rounder looks to have rediscovered his best form after a summer playing county cricket.

England openers added 22 runs for the first wicket before Matt Prior [Images] was bowled for 13.

His other partner Ian Bell [Images] helped take the score to 100 before he was stumped off the bowling of off-spinner Vikrant Yeligeti for 58.

Owais Shah too made use of the tour game and scored 83 runs with the help of six fours and a six but the missed his century by 17 runs after his 99-ball innings came to an end.

The dismissal of captain Kevin Pietersen [Images] for just six runs was perhaps the only disappointment for England on the day.

However, his wicket brought Flintoff to the crease and he dominated the MCA attack. Flintoff and Owais Shah put on 132 runs to get England on to an imposing total.

Flintoff was lucky to get the century as he was dropped twice at seven and 25 but he took full advantage of his chances, scoring 12 fours and three sixes, the last of which was on the final ball of the innings to help him get his century.

England bowlers too looked impressive against the MCA batsmen.

Opening bowler James Anderson [Images] claimed three wickets, while spinner Samit Patel got two wickets.

Brief scores: England: 297 for four (Andrew Flintoff 100 not out, Owais Shah 83, Vikrant Yeligati 41-1) vs
MCA: 175 for 8 (Shetye 50, Anderson 15-3, Patel 38-2).



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