Anderson leads Lancashire's quickstep to victory

<preform>Lancashire 187 and 305 Worcestershire 146 and 127 Lancashire win by 219 runs</b></preform>
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The Independent Online

With James Anderson again their spearhead, Lancashire romped to the top of the Championship with a resounding victory accomplished with a day to spare. The combination of Anderson's speed (he had match figures of 10 for 81) and Gary Keedy's spin (he took 9 for 82) on a wearing surface were too much for a flaky Worcestershire order set an unlikely 347 to win.

With James Anderson again their spearhead, Lancashire romped to the top of the Championship with a resounding victory accomplished with a day to spare. The combination of Anderson's speed (he had match figures of 10 for 81) and Gary Keedy's spin (he took 9 for 82) on a wearing surface were too much for a flaky Worcestershire order set an unlikely 347 to win.

There is nothing quite like the sight of a fast bowler, in his pomp, to get the crowd sitting up. After two overs, Anderson was switched to Brian Statham's favourite Stretford End, and with the last ball of his third over he had Stephen Peters taken at gully.

Graeme Hick bulleted the first ball of his next over into the boards at extra cover. The third ball of the over had Hick leaning back to avoid losing his nose, while the fourth flew to second slip.

Ben Smith looked resolved to steady his side but in Anderson's fifth over he drove wide and clipped to cover - it was 3.19pm and Worcestershire were in crisis at 40 for 3. When Keedy had Kadeer Ali caught at slip and the adhesive Stephen Moore stumped, the top order was blown away.

Anderson returned after tea for the mopping-up with Gareth Batty, unbeaten on 31, alone among the smoking ruins.

Smith's task yesterday morning, still grey but turning to warm sunshine, was to restrict a Lancashire lead that already stood at 241 overnight with seven wickets still to fall.

Significantly he began with his spinner Batty removing the night-watchman in the third over, and he had a slice of luck seven overs later when Iain Sutcliffe, five runs away from a Championship century, waved rather nervously at Andrew Hall to give Steven Rhodes his second catch of the day.

Glen Chapple replied robustly, Mal Loye insisted on batting with a runner and Lancashire's lead, with a wicket to fall, was past 300 by lunchtime. Most alarming for Worcestershire was the statistic offered by Lancashire's scorer, Alan West: their highest winning fourth-innings score at Old Trafford is 216.

This was Anderson's first 10-wicket haul of his career but will Lancashire see him again this summer?

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