County Championship round-up: Broad on the mend but lacking his usual menace

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The Independent Online

Stuart Broad emerged unscathed from his first match since a calf injury curtailed his involvement in the Test series in Sri Lanka but is likely to be given another opportunity to bowl himself into form ahead of the opening Test against West Indies on Thursday week.

The England paceman bowled 31 overs in Nottinghamshire's 185-run victory over Lancashire at Old Trafford but struggled for rhythm, conceding more than four an over. "He had not played for a while and it took him a bit of time to get into the game," his Nottinghamshire captain, Chris Read, said. "But he showed no reaction to the injury and I don't think he is far off his best."

Nottinghamshire face Middlesex at Trent Bridge, starting on Wednesday, when Broad will have a chance to bowl at the England captain, Andrew Strauss, among others.

Broad's England strike partner, James Anderson, performed impressively despite the effects of a blow on the thumb and a bout of tonsillitis, while off-spinner Graeme Swann looked tidy, taking five wickets in the match, including the South African batsman, Ashwell Prince, twice.

Lancashire have lost three oftheir first four matches in their title defence. They were bowled out for 142 in their second innings.

England's Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara again fell cheaply for Essex against Glamorgan in Cardiff, where Cook followed his first-innings nine by being bowled by Graham Waggfor five and Bopara, after his first-innings duck, was bowled by Will Owen for 10.