Lancashire’s cricketers made an instant impact on their return to the top flight of the County Championship as they registered an emphatic victory over Nottinghamshire at Old Trafford.
They won by eight wickets as they beat a side who had won their previous match and contained England’s Stuart Broad in their attack.
More than 20 months after their last top-flight win, the home side chased down the 86 runs required in exactly 17 overs with Alviro Petersen and Luke Procter easing Lancashire home after an early scare.
The Red Rose bowlers had ended Nottinghamshire’s second innings on 175 on Tuesday, with New Zealander Neil Wagner taking 11 wickets on debut.
And on a sunny final morning in Manchester the home side recovered from the loss of two early wickets to clinch the win with Peterson unbeaten on 31 and Procter 35.
Lancashire had made a shaky start when Karl Brown was out in the very first over for just eight.
The 27-year-old, who scored 766 runs in 2015, had got a nine-ball duck in the first innings, and though he cracked two fours off Jake Ball he was trapped leg-before offering no shot to the sixth ball of the morning.
England under-19 opener Haseeb Hameed, who penned a new four-year contract at Lancashire in February, was joined by Procter for the recovery although it was slow going, thanks partly to Broad’s tight bowling.
The pressure paid at the other end, as Ball, who finished with two for 29, produced just enough movement to find Hameed’s edge on nine, with Riki Wessels taking a good low catch at slip.
New man Petersen rode his luck a bit at the start and Procter was dropped at backward square-leg by Harry Gurney after wildly hooking at a Broad delivery.
However, batting proved easier after that, with both batsmen taking on the spinners and Procter fittingly wrapping things up with a six over deep mid-wicket off Samit Patel.
Jimmy Anderson was quick to pay tribute to his pace partner Wagner.
He said: “I thought Neil was fantastic.
“To take 11-for on his debut is something pretty special. He should be really proud of that.
“It couldn’t have gone any better for him.
He is a fantastic guy - he loves playing,
“He wants to do well for the team and has so much energy on the field. He never turns down the opportunity to have a bowl.
“He will be great for Crofty (captain Steven Croft) all year if he keeps going.
“He may lose a few inches in height if he keeps bowling on these wickets, but he has a fantastic attitude and is someone we are lucky to have him.”