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Jimmy Anderson’s seven wickets for Lancashire leave Nathan Lyon purring
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Jimmy Anderson’s seven wickets for Lancashire leave Nathan Lyon purring

Jimmy Anderson gave England a glimpse of what they will be missing when he is put out to pasture after the Lord’s Test next week, taking seven wickets for 35 for Lancashire against Nottinghamshire – the best bowling figures in the County Championship this year – in his first game for four months.

Anderson, 41, had not played since the innings defeat by India in ­Dharamsala in March that brought his 700th Test wicket. In May he confirmed the first Test against West Indies would be his 188th and last. But in Southport on Tuesday he fell straight back into the groove of excellence delivered with ­devilish control. It all left his long-time ­Australian adversary turned ­Lancashire teammate Nathan Lyon aiming a dig in the direction of the England selectors.

“I am very surprised that England have tapped him on the shoulder and said one more Test and that’s it,” Lyon said. “He’s world class, probably the best to ever play the game as a fast bowler and his skillset, especially in England, is remarkable.

“Seeing Jimmy doing what he was doing this morning was pretty amazing to witness. I’ve obviously seen it on the other side when I’m not ­standing there saying: ‘Come on Jimmy.’

“There’s no disrespect to the other bowlers in this game, but you can see the class which he brings to the table. The extra zip off the wicket, the extra bounce, his skillset, his ability to go both ways, the wobble seam, so it was pretty cool to be at mid-off and have him tell me what he was doing.”

On a July day so chilly that the Southport spectators hunched over their foldaway chairs in winter coats, Anderson appeared, as unmistakable as ever. He took the first over from the Harrod Drive End immediately after Keaton Jennings’s declaration. His loyal public, 1,406 of them, many of whom had sat through two days of cricket for this moment – one of those days completely washed out – were ready. The light murmur of voices stilled as he stood at the end of his run‑up. The first ball steamed past Haseeb Hameed’s bat and he was off.

Ten overs later, he had grabbed six for 19 in his first spell, ­shimmying through Nottinghamshire’s top order as the visitors were dismissed for 126 in a session and a half.

Jimmy Anderson celebrates after seeing Nottinghamshire’s Liam Patterson-White caught at gullyView image in fullscreen

He took all six wickets to fall before lunch, starting with Hameed who was unlucky to get a bottom edge from a methodical forward defensive on to his stumps. The hesitant Will Young pushed forward and got a tickle which flew through to Matthew Hurst, and Joe Clarke was caught at second slip for a duck, while Jack Haynes was snaffled by Josh Bohannon under the helmet as the ball reared off a length like a dog at the postman. Lyndon James also got a nasty one in the ribs and gloved to fourth slip before Liam Patterson-White was snaffled at gully – six wickets in six consecutive overs. There was one more wicket after lunch before Tom Bailey spoiled the party and Lyon completed the innings with a run-out.

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Anderson bowled four overs without reward as Nottinghamshire followed on, but fans briefly saw what they have longed to watch all summer – Lyon and Anderson, a combined (and record) total of 1,230 Test ­wickets – bowling in tandem. Bad light sent the players off after tea, then Young and Clarke saw Notts through to stumps, needing another 143 to avoid an innings defeat, with the knowledge that Anderson will be fresh again in the morning.

Elsewhere, Worcestershire sealed their first victory of the ­season with a six‑wicket win against ­Durham, a neat comeback at ­Chester-le-Street guided by ­half‑centuries from Kashif Ali and Adam Hose. ­Yorkshire won their second game in a row by an innings, after Ben Coad (six for 30) sliced through ­Derbyshire. ­Sussex supercharged their ­promotion campaign with a 63-run win against ­Northamptonshire, with Nathan ­McAndrew taking five ­wickets and a ­couple for the ­England cast-off Ollie Robinson.

Source: theguardian.com