Lancashire's revival starts with return of Anderson

Lancashire 375 Gloucestershire 186-6
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The Independent Online

Lancashire will need much to go right for them if they are to bring about a late revival of their Championship hopes, but having seized the initiative in this match they can at least claim to be heading in a forward direction.

Lancashire will need much to go right for them if they are to bring about a late revival of their Championship hopes, but having seized the initiative in this match they can at least claim to be heading in a forward direction.

Several things have gone right for them here, despite the loss of a third of the second day to rain. Notwithstanding James Franklin's hugely impressive debut for Gloucestershire, in which he has so far taken seven wickets, the accomplished batting of centurion Dinesh Mongia, standing in for the injured Stuart Law, provided the platform for what appears to be a competitive total.

And James Anderson arrived just after lunch yesterday to appear in only his fourth Championship match after being released from England duty at Lord's. It was bad luck on Peter Martin, already nominated as the man to give way, whose return to the Lancashire attack after injury was restricted to six overs.

Mongia failed to add to his overnight 111 as the visitors were bowled out for 375. Franklin picked up both wickets to fall to finish with 7 for 60, the best single-innings bowling figures by a Gloucestershire player on debut since the Reverend Archibald Fargus, a naval chaplain, took 12 for 87 against Middlesex in 1900.

But Lancashire's total looked formidable even though a prolonged rain break took away their bowlers' momentum. Glen Chapple and Martin claimed a wicket each to remove Craig Spearman and the debut-making Mike Hussey before a highly aggressive spell by Dominic Cork accounted for Chris Taylor and Alex Gidman. When Anderson, to whom Hooper threw the ball within 10 minutes of his 2.30pm entrance, held an awkward return catch from a miscued pull by Phil Weston, the home side were in disarray at 99 for 5.

This state was shared temporarily by the officials after Roy Palmer left the field feeling unwell. His partner, Peter Hartley, had to umpire at both ends for a while, at first with the Gloucestershire player-coach, Mark Alleyne, standing at square leg, and then a local former minor counties umpire, Mike Johnson, before David Constant, from the first-class list, took over.

At that point, after the downpour, calm also returned to Gloucestershire's batting. The New Zealand all-rounder Franklin shared with wicketkeeper Stephen Adshead a partnership that added 72 before spinner Gary Keedy dismissed the former in the penultimate over with the help of the Lancashire keeper, Jamie Haynes, who was atoning in part for having dropped Adshead on 30 off Anderson.

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