Flintoff joined an elite band of English bat-ball heroes when he took four wickets and scored a half century in the same match. Only Ian Botham, Graham Hick and Ronnie Irani had previously achieved the feat.
After missing the 2-0 Test series win over Bangladesh to rest a groin problem, Flintoff wasted no time proving that he intends to continue where he left off against South Africa last summer.
Flintoff claimed career-best bowling figures of four for 14 to help restrict Bangladesh to 143 all out after the hosts had elected to bat first. Then after England lost Vikram Solanki, Marcus Trescothick and skipper Michael Vaughan in quick succession, Flintoff hit two sixes and nine fours off just 52 balls. It left the man-of-the-match adjudicator with the simplest of tasks of selecting Flintoff, who won man-of-the-series honours against South Africa.
Further indications of the rapidly growing popularity of the all-rounder were seen with the erection of the Flintstones house among Barmy Army supporters.
Freddie is now closing in on Ian Botham's record of 44 sixes in one-day internationals. The 25-year-old has 40 and could claim the record before England move on to Sri Lanka.
Written by Martin Hardy on behalf of ISM