Lancashire v Sri Lanka A, Liverpool July 29, 2007

Mahmood haul overshadows Flintoff

Cricinfo staff

Lancashire 140 (Chilton 33, Perera 3-21) beat Sri Lanka A 105 (Wijekoon 42, Mahmood 5-16) by 35 runs

Andrew Flintoff drives during his comeback 25 against Sri Lanka A © Getty Images
Andrew Flintoff's return to competitive action was overshadowed by his England team-mate Sajid Mahmood, who claimed 5 for 16, as Lancashire defended 140 against Sri Lanka A at Liverpool. On a day where the top score was 42 from Gayan Wijekoon, the tourists subsided against Mahmood's pace.

After seven weeks out following hernia surgery, Mahmood produced his best one-day figures as he blew away the top order. During his first match back, against Northamptonshire last week, he proved very expensive with six overs for 56, but here gained a confidence-boosting performance.

He removed five of the top six, including Test openers Michael Vandort and Malinda Warnapura for ducks, as Sri Lanka slid to 47 for 6. Wijekoon tried his best to hold the chase together, but the introduction of spin finished the innings. Gary Keedy and Simon Marshall claimed two apiece and Wijekoon was the last man out, stumped after a battling innings.

After all the rain in recent weeks Lancashire fielded a strong line-up ahead of their vital Championship match against Sussex. However, a batting order including Flintoff and Brad Hodge were rolled over inside 41 overs. Flintoff came in at No. 4 and hit four boundaries in his 40-ball 25 before being bowled by Wijekoon.

The lower order struggled against the spin pairing of Dilruwan Perera and Kaushal Lokuarachchi. Keedy hit 22 off 33 balls in a useful last-wicket stand of 36 and in the end they proved vital runs.