Anderson strikes on rain-hit day
Lancashire and Glamorgan endured a frustrating rain-hit opening day in this LV= Insurance County Championship match at Emirates Old Trafford with the visitors reaching 117-3 with only 39 overs possible due to the weather.
James Anderson’s eagerly awaited return to action after missing Lancashire’s two previous matches with a calf issue, and the prospect of a first potential match-up against Australian Test batsman Marnus Labuschagne-the pair never having locked horns at international level-proved to be the highlight of the day with play halting for good at 5.50pm following several stoppages.
Needing eleven more dismissals to reach the magical milestone of 1,000 first-class wickets, Anderson found some early movement to produce a typically searching and accurate spell of 6-3-13-0 in the morning during which he was a shade unfortunate not to have made a breakthrough.
Glamorgan openers David Lloyd and Joe Cooke coped well in reaching 35 until Cooke was bowled by a quick delivery that nipped back from Saqib Mahmood after making 15.
That brought Labuschagne to the crease just after Anderson had been withdrawn from the attack, but the Australian, who nearly went first ball after leaving a Mahmood delivery that was very close to off stump, produced a nervous-looking start going scoreless for 24 deliveries as Luke Wood and Danny Lamb bowled a tight line and length.
A square drive for four from ball number 25 and two more boundaries from the final two deliveries before lunch were more typical of the shots associated with the visitor’s overseas batsman with Glamorgan enjoying their refreshments, after Chris Cooke had called correctly at the toss, on 61-1.
Anderson’s duel with Labuschagne arrived immediately after the interval, but lasted a mere five deliveries. The Lancastrian chalked up wicket number 990 from the first delivery of his second over back with a ball of perfect line and length that just moved enough off the seam to find an edge safely pouched by Dane Vilas, who has continued to keep wicket due to Alex Davies’ finger problem.
But Red Rose hopes of building on that important breakthrough on 82-2 were kept at bay by an excellent innings from Lloyd, who continued his fine recent form by reaching his fourth half century in five innings from his role at the top of the order.
The opener produced several well-timed drives in reaching his half century from 80 balls that included eight boundaries, including four in one Mahmood over although the last from an authentic edge through the vacant third slip area, perhaps was a moment of good fortune.
Anderson came close to adding to his tally when Billy Root had an ill-advised flash at a delivery wide of off stump but rain returned at 2.20pm to enforce an hour’s delay and an early tea.
Fifteen minutes of play were possible after the break during which Glamorgan moved on to 111-2 before a further downpour halted proceedings until 5.30pm.
And although only 25 deliveries were possible before the skies darkened again and play was halted due to bad light, there was time for one further wicket to fall.
Luke Wood banged one in short that Lloyd, on 78, initially went to pull only to check the shot, but unfortunately for the Glamorgan opener the ball hit a big top edge that was well caught by a diving Vilas who sprinted around to short backward square leg to complete the catch.
Three balls later play was halted due to bad light, and abandoned for the day at 117-3 with Lloyd probably cursing his luck.
Root (11 not out) and Kiran Carlson (0 not out) will be at the crease when play starts tomorrow.
Luke Wood claimed a vital wicket late on today and he said:
“It’s always frustrating when you are going off and on, you can never settle. You are trying to build pressure, so it doesn’t help.
“To have Glamorgan three down isn’t bad. We perhaps didn’t contain them as well as we could at times, but overall it’s not too bad. They’ve only scored at about three an over so we’ve not chased the ball around.
“We’ve only played one third of a day and tomorrow should be a full day, the forecast is decent, so a big push on in the morning is quite crucial. If we can get a couple early on we can go on from there.”
Wood missed out last week after scoring a century and taking three wickets against Kent due to the rotation policy being used over these opening weeks of the season and he added:
“Obviously you want to play every game, but you have to be realistic. We are playing a three-seam attack so our workloads are quite high. While you’ve got the personnel to do it, the rotation policy keeps everyone quite fresh.
“I’ve come in for this game, and it feels a bit like the first game which is nice for me. On the back of the Kent game I would have loved to have carried on but we’ve got a group of lads who are more than capable.
“We are only a month into the season so you have to see the bigger picture. I think the way we are doing it (rotation) is good.”
Photos: Barry Mitchell & Getty Images