Lancashire marked their return to Specsavers County Championship Division One by cruising to an eight-wicket victory on the final day against Nottinghamshire.
More than 20 months after their last top-flight win, the home side chased down the 86 runs required in exactly 17 overs at Emirates Old Trafford, 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 Tueday, with Neil Wagner taking 11 wickets on debut, and on a sunny morning in Manchester they recovered from two early wickets to clinch the win just after noon, with Petersen 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 lbw 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 Stuart Broad’s tight bowling.
— Lancashire CCC (@LancsCCC) April 20, 2016
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.
Lancashire skipper Steven Croft said: “Brilliant, great to get our first win in our first game against a really good side. So really pleasing.
“After losing the toss on a pretty good batting wicket as well, to keep our discipline and much more so in the second innings. That’s probably been one of the best displays as a bowling unit.
“Great with the bat as well first innings, led by another debutant Liam Livingstone. Wags (Neil Wagner) cleaned up as well, but more importantly a great team effort.
“A good dominant win against a really good side with internationals.”