Andrew Flintoff celebrated his return to England colours with an all-round tour de force as England overcame Bangladesh by seven wickets at Chittagong. Flintoff followed a career-best four for 14 with an unbeaten 55, and was well supported by Paul Collingwood as England reached victory with nearly half their overs to spare.



Flintoff hits out during his unbeaten 55
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Flintoff came in to bat with England, chasing 144 for victory, wobbling slightly on 55 for three. Marcus Trescothick had again given them a jet-propelled start, producing four booming straight boundaries before gliding a fifth through third man for variety. Vikram Solanki, after one classic cover drive, fell in less elegant circumstances, getting a leading edge to mid-off as he tried to force Mushfiqur Rahman to leg. Next ball Trescothick, trying to steer backward of point, was held at gully and Bangladesh were daring to hope.

Michael Vaughan and Paul Collingwood interspersed sharp singles with elegant leg-side boundaries, but the left arm spinner Manjural Islam Rana intervened in his first over of international cricket, having England's captain smartly stumped by Khaled Mashud as he left the crease trying to sweep. Flintoff got underway as only he can, with a bludgeoning pull through mid on and two cover drives costing Mushfiqur three boundaries in an over. The big Lancastrian greeted the debutant off spinner, Jamaluddin Ahmed, with another brace of boundaries.

Collingwood wisely gave Flintoff his head as the entertainment continued with two sixes over midwicket, one of them off the toe end of his bat. His 50 came up off just 45 balls, and preceded a boundary driven with such ferocity that it almost took the umpire's head off. The crowd could only gaze on in awe as he powered England towards victory. It was Collingwood who finished it, with three emphatic boundaries in the 26th over.

Bangladesh's 143 represented something of a fightback. At 67 for seven they were in danger of recording their lowest-ever score, but their last three wickets provided more than half the eventual total. Debutant Nafis Iqbal gave England the start they wanted when he edged James Anderson to Trescothick at slip for nine in the seventh over. That was 16 for one, and brought in Habibul Bashar to add 34 with Hannan Sarkar before Bashar was caught behind by Chris Read trying to hook Flintoff.



Giles takes a superb catch to dismiss Rahman
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12 runs later a middle-order collapse began as Rajin Saleh ill-advisedly swept Giles straight to Rikki Clarke at backward point. In Giles' next over Sarkar, having reached 30 (55 balls, five fours) also fell victim to an attempted hook at Flintoff, caught behind off the back of his bat. Skipper Khaled Mahmud was also caught by Read just two balls later. Giles took another brace in the next over, trapping Alok Kapali lbw and taking a brilliant one-handed return catch, diving to his left, to dismiss Mushfiqur Rahman. Five wickets had fallen for just one run.

The experienced Mashud joined Rana to begin a limited repair job, taking the score to three figures before Clarke, having got away with what looked like a wide the previous ball, induced a leading edge to cover from Mashud as he tried to play to leg. Rana fell needlessly, failing to beat Ian Blackwell's throw as he attempted a second run. Jamaluddin and Tapash Baisya then added a record 36 for the last wicket, the best stand of the innings, before Tapash fended a return catch to Flintoff. But the primary entertainment from England's star all-rounder was still to come.