New boy Wagner in historic debut

Wagner - superbb debut
Wagner - superbb debut
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Neil Wagner returned the best bowling figures on first-class debut for Lancashire since 1923 as the Red Rose enjoyed a good first day to their Division One clash with Nottinghamshire at Old Trafford.

New Zealand left-arm seamer Wagner took six for 66 to help dismiss Nottinghamshire for 242, with visiting skipper Chris Read offering predictably determined resistance with an innings of 52.

In reply Karl Brown was leg before for a duck when playing no shot to Jake Ball but Luke Procter and Haseeb Hameed saw promoted Lancashire to 25 for one after 19 overs at the close of an absorbing evening session.

The day had also begun well for the home bowlers as they reduced the visitors to 73 for four, Jarvis and Wagner taking two wickets apiece after Read had chosen to have first use of what looked a good batting pitch.

Although plenty of attention was paid to James Anderson’s return to the Lancashire side, the England bowler ended the innings wicketless and it was Jarvis who made the first breakthrough when Steven Mullaney nicked him to wicketkeeper Alex Davies and departed for 19.

After switching to the Pavilion End, Jarvis also dismissed Michael Lumb, who was lbw on the front foot for 14, but it was debutant Wagner who enjoyed the next two successes on an encouraging morning for the home side.

Opener Greg Smith, having compiled a careful 17 in 94 minutes, drove loosely at a wide full-length ball from Wagner and was caught at cover-point by Liam Livingstone, another making his championship debut for Lancashire.

In Wagner’s next over Brendan Taylor inside edged the fast-medium bowler onto his middle stump to complete a fine session for the home bowlers.

The second session began where the morning had ended as Jarvis and Wagner earned leg before decisions against Samit Patel and Riki Wessels to leave Nottinghamshire floundering on 98 for six.

However, Read and Stuart Broad then shared a 74-run seventh-wicket stand with the England bowler facing some hostile deliveries from Wagner in his 45-ball innings of 43.

Broad’s stay at the crease came to an end when he was bowled having a swipe at Simon Kerrigan’s slow left-arm in an attempt to hit his seventh boundary.

Ball joined Read and the pair had added an unbroken 42 at tea, Ball hitting Jarvis for sixes over point and midwicket in his 29 not out.

Read was 37 not out at tea and eventually reached reached his fifty off 106 balls with six fours.

However, the play in the hour after tea was dominated by Wagner. He had Ball (33) and Jackson Bird (one) caught behind by Davies before wrapping up Nottinghamshire’s innings by dismissing Read, who hooked him to Kerrigan at long leg two balls after completing his half-century .

Wagner said: “The team is in a pretty good position and I’m pretty happy after the first day.

“We had to be patient. There was a little bit of swing and that’s something I’ve been working hard on but it’s lovely bowling with Duke balls and the way they go round. It was a bit cold and fresh but it still swung.

He added: “This is an amazing club and a great place to be at. They’ve been very professional in everything they’ve done and that makes things easy.

“I watched games here when I played club cricket in 2008 and I loved the ground and everything about it then. It was an easy decision to come over here.”