Anderson strikes as Lancs take control
Lancashire took a firm grip on their Specsavers County Championship Division One match against Hampshire after a commanding display with both ball and bat left them with an ominous first-innings lead at the end of day one.
After winning the toss and batting first on a hot and sunny day at Emirates Old Trafford, the visitors struggled to score runs from the get-go with James Anderson looking in fine form as he prepared for his England duties with a three-wicket haul as Hampshire were bowled out for just 109.
It was Anderson who took the first wicket of Jimmy Adams for just five before Steven Croft produced the moment of the day when he slid to stop a James Vince drive at mid-on and unleashed a low throw which ran out the England hopeful for a duck.
As an audition for gaining his first Test cap, it could not have gone worse for Vince in front of watching England coach Trevor Bayliss and things were soon going just as badly for his side as Michael Carberry and Liam Dawson fell to successive balls from Neil Wagner, the latter the victim of a vicious in-swinging yorker which left Dawson hobbling as he exited the stage.
When Will Smith was strangled down the leg side by Luke Procter for 18, Hampshire were 57 for five at lunch and worse was to come after the interval when Croft produced another brilliant piece of fielding to dismiss Ryan McClaren and give Anderson his second wicket with a stunning diving catch at mid-on.
Debutant Gareth Andrew followed soon after as he edged an excellent short-pitched delivery from Kyle Jarvis, with Tino Best becoming Anderson’s third victim when he edged to Liam Livingstone.
At the other end, Adam Wheater battled hard to get Hampshire over 100 but when he played on to his wicket off Procter for a top score of 32, the game was up for Hampshire as James Tomlinson lasted just five balls before also chopping on from Procter, who finished with three for 14.
While there was plenty of bounce and pace in the pitch, Lancashire were soon making a mockery of their opponent’s low score with a confident start which saw openers Karl Brown and Haseeb Hameed reach 53 together before the former was out lbw for 40 to Andrew’s first delivery for his new county.
For the rest of the afternoon Lancashire asserted their dominance with Hameed and Procter both playing watchful innings as they dealt comfortably with the ineffectual leg spin of teenager Mason Crane.
At the close of play both players were approaching their half-centuries after an unbeaten stand of 104 for the second wicket took Lancashire to 157 for one and a lead of 48.