Flintoff, Strauss blast hundreds

Andrew Flintoff and Andrew Strauss both scored hundreds as England posted an imposing 285 for seven.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:07 IST
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Andrew Flintoff and Andrew Strauss both scored hundreds as England posted an imposing 285 for seven in their NatWest Series one-day international cricket match against the West Indies at Lord's. Flintoff's 123 was his second hundred in successive matches while Strauss's 100 was his maiden century in the Middlesex captain's first limited overs' international on his home ground. Left-hander Strauss had already made a century on his Test debut, against New Zealand, at Lord's in May. Their stand of 226 in 188 balls was an England one-day international record for all wickets surpassing the previous best of 213 set by Neil Fairbrother and Graeme Hick against the West Indies at Lord's back in 1991. Flintoff, whose 106 in Sunday's six-wicket defeat by New Zealand was his maiden ODI hundred, faced 104 balls with six sixes and eight fours. Hero's of the day Strauss and Flintoff, who came together at 54 for three, had performed a similar rescue act on Sunday where their stand of 122 had revived England after they slumped to 57 for three. West Indies captain Brian Lara won the toss and elected to field in a match where victory for his side would see through into Saturday's England would qualify them for the showpiece. Every completed match in the series so far had been won by the team bowling first, and England had not won setting a target since last year's World Cup, so they were entitled to fear the worst when Lara called correctly. Lancashire all-rounder Flintoff, unable to bowl because of an ankle injury, got off the mark with a four against off-spinner Chris Gayle. Meanwhile, Strauss continued to bat in composed fashion against a West Indies attack lacking paceman Jermaine Lawson because of flu. Strauss, who made 61 on Sunday, was lucky however when he just cleared a back-pedalling Gayle on the mid-wicket fence with a pulled six off Dwayne Smith before Flintoff twice hoisted Bravo over the rope again. Unstoppable force Strauss then struck two superb off-driven fours and lofted Bravo for six before on-driving him for four as the bowler's last over cost 21 runs. Flintoff's 91-ball hundred came up in style with a six off Dwayne Smith. The next ball too sailed over the rope. Flintoff then lofted Gayle to the long-on boundary where he was 'caught' by Shivanrine Chanderpaul but the fielder stepped over the rope and so Flintoff had another six. Flintoff fell in the last over when he was caught off Gayle. He ended up with a hundred of 115 balls with two sixes and eight fours. (AFP)