MUMBAI // Andrew Flintoff scored an unbeaten 100 to help England beat a Mumbai XI by 122 runs in an unofficial tour match. England compiled 297 for four wickets in 50 overs and then restricted Mumbai to 175-8. Flintoff hit three sixes and 12 boundaries off 85 deliveries to share a 133-run fourth-wicket stand with Owais Shah, who anchored the innings with a solid 83 off 99 balls. This was the first century for Flintoff in any form of the game since he made 102 in 2005 in the fourth Test against Australia at Trent Bridge.
"I've been working hard on my batting and it's nice when it comes together," Flintoff said. "We'll obviously play against better teams on this tour, but a hundred's a hundred. "I've not scored one for ages so I'll take it." Flintoff said he expected tougher matches to come. "I'm not daft and I know it's a starting point. Today was fine but it's not always going to be like that," he added. England will play another warm up game on Tuesday in Mumbai before moving to the western town of Rajkot for the first one-day international against India on Friday.
The seven one-day matches will be followed by two Tests. "It'll be nice to perform out here, especially with the bat and have a good Christmas at the end of it," said Flintoff. The Lancashire all-rounder was dropped twice in his innings. The first came with him on seven and then when he was on 25. The opener Ian Bell also took the chance for some useful batting practice with 58 runs coming off 62 balls, but Matt Prior (13) and skipper Kevin Pietersen (6) faltered.
The paceman James Andersen enhanced his claim for inclusion in the one-day attack with bowling figures of 3-15, while the left-arm spinner Samit Patel also impressed with the ball with a 2-38, while Abhijit Shetye hit 50 for Mumbai. *AP