135 not out v Surrey, The Oval, 2000
This is the summer where his weight has become a major issue, but Flintoff lets his bat do the talking with a thunderous innings that steers Lancashire to victory in the quarter-final
of the NatWest Trophy. His hundred comes in 88 balls as he rips the Surrey attack to shreds. David Gower, who is doing TV commentary for the match, says: "We have just watched one of the most awesome innings we are ever going to see on a cricket field."
95 v South Africa, The Oval, 2003
The innings that makes everyone believe Flintoff has finally become the match-winner England crave. Three Tests earlier he has slammed 142 at Lord's, but in a long-since lost match. However, at The Oval
he changes the course of the series. After Marcus Trescothick's career-best 219, England edge ahead of South Africa's 484, but the odds still favour a draw - enough to give South Africa the series. Then, with Steve Harmison for company, Flintoff opens his shoulders in thrilling style. One six off Makhaya Ntini finishes in the pavilion, and by the time he is bowled by Paul Adams he has scored 95 off 104 balls, and added 99 for the ninth wicket; and the momentum had swung decisively England's way.
5 for 58 v West Indies, Barbados, 2004
Flintoff has been England's most consistent bowler for three years now, but hasn't yet taken a decisive haul. In his 32nd Test
, though, he breaks the barrier as England march towards their historic series win. Operating in the "dream team" attack alongside Steve Harmison, Simon Jones and Matthew Hoggard, Flintoff builds up a fearsome head of steam. He removes Lara for 36, and later adds Ridley Jacobs and Shivnarine Chanderpaul in the same over. West Indies recover with a solid bowling performance themselves, but Flintoff takes two in second innings, too, as they are bowled out for less than 100.
104 and 2 for 21 v Sri Lanka, The Rose Bowl, 2004
While England's Test form is reaching new heights, one-day cricket continues to be a problem. However, during the final part of a record-breaking summer they find form, and it owes much to Flintoff's pyrotechnics. In the Champions Trophy semi-final
, at a dank Rose Bowl, England have slipped to 70 for 3 when Flintoff strides out. Firstly he consolidates, then begins to expand and his 91-ball innings boosts England to 251. It is more than enough in bowler-friendly conditions, as Flintoff bags two wickets for good measure.
68 and 73; 3 for 52 and 4 for 79 v Australia, Edgbaston 2005
Perhaps the Greatest Test
, and definitely Flintoff's finest. He plays a key role in each innings, starting with his counterattacking 68 on the first day as England set pulses racing with 407 in less than 80 overs. After having come short at Lord's, Flintoff goes back to his instincts - at one point pulling Brett Lee for six with his eyes closed. He wraps up Australia's first innings to gain a lead of 99, but Shane Warne leads a fightback, and Flintoff walks in with England tottering on 72 for 5.
But this is Flintoff's Test and his alone to salvage. A nation holds its breath as Flintoff wrenches his shoulder trying to cut Warne. But it is a false alarm and he proceeds to launch into Australia's bowlers in a final-wicket stand of 51 with Simon Jones. Chasing 282, Australia begin well and at 47 without loss Flintoff is thrown the ball. Sure enough, he produces the over of his
career. Justin Langer chops on, and then Ricky Ponting is beaten by a ripping 90mph leg-cutter. Crucially Flintoff oversteps, and has a seventh delivery - a searing one that kisses the edge of Ponting's bat. At the start of the fourth day, Australia need 107
102 and 26 v Australia, Trent Bridge, 2005
Having watched Australia avoid defeat at Old Trafford
by one wicket it
72 and 5 for 78 v Australia, The Oval 2005
Flintoff's colossal series reaches its climax with another sterling all-round display at The Oval 2005
. His 72 helps England to a competitive 373, but it is with the ball that he makes the Aussies quake. Delays with rain and bad light boost England's chances of the draw they need, but on the fourth morning Australia are 277 for 2 and shaping to take a first-innings lead. In murky conditions he bowls 18 overs unchanged at nearly 90mph as Australia lose eight for 86, Flintoff taking Matthew Hayden, Ponting and Damien Martyn.
50 and 50; 1 for 68 and 3 for 14 v India, Mumbai
Trailing 0-1 in the series and with five first-choice players missing it seems an impossible task for England to level the series in the Mumbai Test
. But Flintoff, in his first series as captain, marshals his team well. His first-innings 50 builds on Andrew Strauss's century, but in the second - with India's attack threatening to bowl their team back into the match, Flintoff plays his most circumspect innings, taking 146 balls for 50. Then, as India chase 313, he removes Wasim Jaffer early on the final morning, and shortly after lunch nails Rahul Dravid. The rest fell in a clatter.