Flintoff finds his moment at last
Andrew Flintoff struck the crucial blow in the Ashes decider, when he ran out Australian captain and key batsman Ricky Ponting.
Flintoff spent most of the match looking around expectantly for some limelight to stand in, as Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and Jonathan Trott stole his moment.
But in his final test Flintoff seized his opportunity to become an Ashes hero once more.
Once last chance to hear to crowd sing his name in a test match.
Once last chance to adopt his trademark celebration – standing arms aloft, stone-faced, saying to his teammates “tuck in, boys.”
It was the moment a packed Oval and an expectant nation have sought all week.
After contributing only 29 runs and one wicket, that of Australia’s number 11, it seemed his farewell test would pass without a notable involvement from England’s talisman.
But that is not Flintoff’s style.
He is not a man to skulk into the shadows.
The greatest moments of his career have come on the biggest stage against Australia.
And once more he produced the moment of the series with the potentially iconic image to go with it.
After this series he will undergo another operation on his troublesome knee.
Now it is unlikely he will require an anesthetic, as at last, he has a valid reason for the copious amounts of the amber nectar he is sure to consume.