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Anderson and Hassan combine to dismiss Hampshire on Day One

Anderson and Hassan combine to dismiss Hampshire on Day One

James Anderson and Hassan Ali combined with eight wickets to help Lancashire bowl Hampshire out for 246 in the LV= Insurance County Championship.

Pakistan fast bowler Hassan Ali also continued his excellent start at Lancashire with five for 45, with Nick Gubbins’ 101 not out saving Hampshire after they had slumped to 40 for five. Lancashire reached close 37 for one, 209 runs in arrears.

On the day Ben Stokes was announced as England’s new Test captain, Anderson produced a casting tape of his best attributes. A reminder, if one is ever needed when you have 640 Test wickets, ahead of the upcoming series with New Zealand and South Africa. Not that Stokes, nor Key, asked or needed one having made their intentions clear.

Inviting Anderson to bowl first on a green-tinged pitch under silvery skies is akin to dangling one’s arm in the face of a ravenous crocodile, but Hampshire did just that and predictably lost their top order cheaply.

Anderson was at his controlling best in a first six-over spell which found brisk nibble in both directions – after Tom Bailey had dismissed Joe Weatherley with an in-out set-up. Ian Holland pushed forward on one which held its fifth stump line, while James Vince was bereft by a sharp in-ducker which took his outside edge. Anderson’s opening stint returned two for six, with four maidens.

One of the motifs of this fixture is the blue-ribbon fast bowling attacks on show from both teams, something perfectly exemplified by the replacement of Anderson with Ali. Ali, on the back of a nine-wicket bag against Gloucestershire, maintained and built on Anderson’s pressure. He slightly squared up Liam Dawson with one that angled away off the seam before a leg-side delivery found its way to third slip via Ben Brown’s outside edge four balls later.  

Hampshire needed a partnership. They got one through the pugnaciousness of Gubbins and Felix Organ – who put on 92 either side of lunch.

Gubbins spent a portion of his winter playing in Zimbabwe’s Logan Cup – scoring a century in two matches – and had begun his Championship season with a handful of starts and a 69 last week versus Kent. He was forced to temper his usual aesthetic to churn to fifty in 133 balls.

Anderson returned to direct some short balls at Organ, who having negotiated a series of bumpers, tamely lobbed a top edge to leg slip for 42, before Keith Barker looped a leading-edge off Ali.

James Fuller juxtaposed Gubbins by upping the tempo with his biffing and bottom-hand favoured shot-making. He was 37 off 19 balls at one point, before slowing slightly to a 49 ball fifty, with an 83-run stand with Gubbins.

Gubbins reached his second century for Hampshire since arriving last summer, and the 12th of his first-class career, in 210 balls. But with Fuller bowled by Luke Wells, Ali mopped up the tail ruthlessly to move to 19 scalps so far this season.

Wells and George Balderson had fewer issues against the new ball, although the latter tickled Barker behind late in the day.


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