England legend James Anderson struck an early blow ahead of this winter’s Ashes on a rain-affected first day of Lancashire’s LV=Insurance County Championship clash with Glamorgan.
The 38-year-old, who returned to the Lancashire line-up for the first time since July 2019, was soon into his stride before he claimed the prize wicket of Australian Test star Marnus Labuschagne after lunch at Emirates Old Trafford.
Poor weather blighted the rest of the day’s play, with David Lloyd compiling a battling half-century in between the showers as the Welsh outfit recovered from the early loss of opener Joe Cooke to close on 117 for three off the 39 overs possible.
All eyes were on Anderson as he took the new ball and England’s record Test wicket- taker quickly fell back into his groove with a number of typically unplayable deliveries.
But it was the bowler who many are tipping as Anderson’s long-term replacement who made the breakthrough as Saqib Mahmood bowled the ball of the session to rearrange Cooke’s stumps for 15.
Anderson’s first spell of six overs went for a measly 13 runs and the attritional cricket continued as Labuschagne took 24 deliveries to get off the mark and Glamorgan reached lunch at 65 for one.
Anderson’s highly-anticipated duel with Labuschagne lasted just five balls until the number three-rated Test batsman edged to wicketkeeper Dane Vilas for 12.
Lloyd was caught by a diving Vilas for 78 after mistiming a pull shot off Luke Wood and play was abandoned three balls later for bad light.