England legend James Anderson hosted a masterclass as Lancashire got off to a flying start against Somerset on the first morning of their County Championship Division 1 game in Manchester.
Anderson, playing his fourth and final four-day game for the Red Rose ahead of the single Test against Ireland and the Ashes series to follow, announced he was ready for England duty.
In a brilliant eight-over opening spell, he played five maidens, conceded just five runs and won wickets from Steven Davies and Tom Abell.
Although Somerset had recovered from 12-3 to 109-4 by the time torrential rain hit after lunch, Anderson’s form will have England fans hoping for better days with the Ashes due to start on June 16.
It looked like a good toss to win as a combination of humidity and gray cloud cover meant Lancashire had no hesitation in holding off visitors – and they reaped the rewards with a classic swing bowling spell of the best all-time teller in England.
Davies was the first to go when he edged Anderson’s first ball to him directly to second slide Tom Hartley, who had previously dropped Anderson’s Tom Lammonby.
Luke Wells had also been guilty of a missed chance on Anderson’s first slide, who himself left one when Lammonby offered him a strong return chance to his left.
An angry Anderson is a dangerous Anderson and Abell became the bowler’s second victim soon after when he was trapped in front before Will Williams scored George Bartlett without scoring.
Fresh off scoring a century against Northamptonshire last week, Tom Kohler-Cadmore came out full of attacking intent but paid for his extravagance when he was beaten by Saqib Mahmood for 20 booming attempts at the cow corner.
Lammonby (34) and James Rew (20) then drove into lunch and an hour beyond with no further alarm before the rain set in – and play was finally abandoned at 5.30pm BST.
Report provided by the ECB Reporters Network.