England end long drought at Lord's

Flintoff sets up hosts first win against Oz in 75 years

England end long drought  at Lord's

fiery freddie: Andrew Flintoff bowled England to a convincing win in the second Test against Australia at Lord’s on Monday with his first five-wicket haul in Test cricket since 2005. AP

Flintoff bowled unchanged from the Pavilion end to finish on the honours' board with five for 92 as England wrapped up the second Test by 115 runs before lunch on the final day to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

Only eight days ago, England needed their last-wicket pair of James Anderson and Monty Panesar to bat through 11.3 overs to salvage the first Test in Cardiff. Now they believe they can emulate the 2005 heroes who regained the Ashes from Australia in the greatest series ever staged.

Three survivors from the fifth and final Test at the Oval in 2005 played significant roles at Lord's.

Captain Andrew Strauss seized the initiative after Cardiff to score 161 in England's first innings and Paul Collingwood completed his third half-century of the series in the second.
Then, there was Flintoff.

The giant Lancastrian announced last week he would retire from Test cricket at the end of the series after four injury-ravaged years since he touched the heights as an all-rounder in 2005.

On song
On Monday, he showed no ill-effects from the troubled right knee which required an operation this year to bowl as fast a spell as any in his career after dismissing both Australian openers on the previous day.

Australia needed 209 more runs with five wickets in hand at the start of play on Monday to reach a record fourth-innings winning total of 522 with Michael Clarke (125) and Brad Haddin (80) at the crease.

Flintoff beat Haddin for pace with his third delivery of the morning and caught the edge of the bat with the fourth which flew to Collingwood at second slip.

Clarke, who had batted gloriously on Sunday, was bowled by a flighted delivery by Graeme Swann for 136 and the match was effectively over.

Strauss told a news conference Flintoff had said he would like to keep bowling after taking Haddin's wicket. "It sounded like a good plan to me," Strauss said.
Strauss added he had felt confident England could win at the start of the final day.

"But in an Ashes Test match, there are always twists and turns. The way Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin played yesterday made the Aussies think it was possible and made us realise we had to start well today," he said.

"The wicket in the first over calmed the nerves and allowed us to push forward for the victory."

Flintoff said he had been fully aware of England's sorry record at Lord's, where they had not won since Yorkshire left-arm spinner Hedley Verity took 15 wickets and dismissed Don Bradman cheaply in each innings 75 years ago.

"To go up one-nil in an Ashes series is a big one," he said. "We'll enjoy this moment, I know I will, but there are still three Test matches to go.

"There are a couple of twinges in my knee but it's encouraging that I can run in and bowl the number of overs that I do and it bodes well for three more Test matches.
“I want to play a major part in them, I'm getting faster as I get older."

Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who relinquished the Ashes four years ago before winning them back in the return series in Australia, said he still believed the teams were evenly matched.

"They grabbed the momentum on day one, a lot of Test matches are won on what happens in the first hour," he said.

Unlike Strauss, who could always turn to Flintoff for penetration or control, Ponting's spearhead Mitchell Johnson is in woeful form, although he did score 63 with nine boundaries on Monday. "He's only played 20-odd Tests," Ponting said. "He's pretty new to Tests and to fast bowling. It's only a couple of games ago that he was bowling as well as anybody in the world."

At the moment, though, it is Flintoff who is rightly the most feared bowler on either side.
"I know if you had to list the top three bowlers in world cricket that batsmen don't want to face, Fred (Flintoff) is going to be on that list and probably the top of it," Strauss said.
"Nobody enjoys facing him and it was great to see him getting what he deserved in this game."

England (I Innings): 425.
Australia (I Innings): 215.
England (II Innings): 311/6 decl.
Australia (II nnings, O/n: 313/5)
Hughes c Strauss b Flintoff    17
Katich c Pietersen b Flintoff    6
Ponting b Broad    38
Hussey c Collingwood b Swann    27
Clarke b Swann    136
North b Swann    6
Haddin c Collingwood b Flintoff    80
Johnson b Swann    63
Hauritz b Flintoff    1
Siddle b Flintoff    7
Hilfenhaus (not out)    4
Extras: (B-5, LB-8, NB-8)    21
Total: (all out, 107 overs)    406
Fall of wickets: 1-17, 2-34, 3-78, 4-120, 5-128, 6-313, 7-356, 8-363, 9-388.
Bowling: James Anderson 21-4-86-0, Andrew Flintoff 27-4-92-5, Graham Onions 9-0-50-0, Chris Broad 16-3-49-1, Graeme Swann 28-3-87-4, Paul Collingwood 6-1-29-0.

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