Wagner orchestrates dream debut

Neil Wagner returned the best figures by a Lancashire bowler on first-class debut for the county since 1923 as the home side dominated a toughly-contested first day of their Specsavers County Championship Division One match against Nottinghamshire at Emirates Old Trafford.

Wagner took 6-66 to help Steven Croft’s team dismiss Nottinghamshire for 242, with visiting skipper Chris Read offering predictably determined resistance with an innings of 52.

In reply Karl Brown was leg-before for nought when playing no shot to Jake Ball, but Luke Procter and Haseeb Hameed saw their side safely to 25 for one after 19 overs at the close of an absorbing evening session.

The day began well for Lancashire’s bowlers, who enjoyed by far the best of the morning session, reducing the visitors to 73 for four with Jarvis and Wagner taking two wickets apiece after Read had chosen to have first use of what looked a good batting pitch.

Although plenty of attention was paid to James Anderson’s return to the Lancashire side, the England bowler ended the innings wicketless and it was Jarvis who made the first breakthrough when Steven Mullaney nicked him to wicketkeeper Alex Davies and departed for a 20-ball 19.

Neil Wagner celebrates en route to figures of 6-66 on his Lancashire debut

After switching to the Pavilion End, Jarvis also dismissed Michael Lumb, who was lbw on the front foot for 14, but it was the debutant Wagner who enjoyed the next two successes.

Greg Smith, having compiled a careful 17 in 94 minutes, drove loosely at a wide full-length ball from Wagner and was caught at cover-point by Liam Livingstone, another Lancashire debutant.

In Wagner’s next over Brendan Taylor inside-edged the New Zealand fast-medium bowler onto his middle stump.

The second session began where the morning had ended as Jarvis and Wagner earned leg-before decisions against Patel and Wessels to leave Nottinghamshire floundering on 98 for six.

However, Read and Stuart Broad then shared a 74-run seventh-wicket stand with Broad facing some hostile deliveries from Wagner in his 45-ball innings of 43 before he was bowled having a swipe at Simon Kerrigan’s slow left-arm in an attempt to hit his seventh boundary.

Jake Ball joined Read and the pair had added an unbroken 42 at tea, Ball hitting Jarvis for sixes over point and midwicket in his 29 not out.

Chris Read leads Nottinghamshire's lower-order resistance with a half-century

Read was 37 not out at tea and eventually reached his fifty off 106 balls with six fours. However, the play in the hour after tea was dominated by Wagner, who had Ball and Jackson Bird caught behind by Davies, for 33 and one respectively, before also dismissing Read who hooked him to Kerrigan at long-leg two balls after completing his fifty.

Wagner said: “The team is in a pretty good position and I’m pretty happy after the first day.

“Once we adjusted our plans this morning and began to bowl a little straighter, we got some reward. Kyle Jarvis and Jimmy started it and they made my job a little easier. We got our rewards for it although the pitch didn’t do as much as we thought it would.

“We had to be patient. There was a little bit of swing and that’s something I’ve been hard working on but it’s lovely bowling with Duke balls and the way they go round. It was a bit cold and fresh but it still swung.

Notts coaching consultant Peter Moores added: “It was a good, hard fought day. I think we’d be a little bit disappointed as we got some people in on a good cricket pitch. There’s always something there.

“We’d have liked to have got a few more but it was great to see Ready do what Ready does, bat with the tail and Broady and Jake Ball also did a good job to get us up to a score that’s competitive.”


Source: ECB

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