James Anderson has celebrated news that his international exile is set to end by helping Lancashire bowl out Hampshire out in the County Championship.
Veteran star Anderson, who was left out of England’s tour to the West Indies, was given the green light to return to the Test side on Thursday by new captain Ben Stokes and new managing director Rob Key.
At Southampton’s Ageas Bowl, Anderson, who’ll be 40 in July, was meanwhile producing a flawless new-ball spell on his way to figures of 3-24 as Hampshire were bowled out for 246.
On the day Stokes was announced as England’s new Test captain, Anderson produced a showreel of his best attributes, getting rid of Ian Holland and captain James Vince in his opening spell.
An unbeaten century from Nick Gubbins came to Hampshire’s aid before Lancashire finished the day at 1-37.
Anderson’s England bowling partner Stuart Broad also played for the first time since the final Ashes Test in Hobart in January ahead of his own expected return to the England fold.
But the paceman was emphatically upstaged by South African teammate Dane Paterson in Nottinghamshire’s match against Worcestershire at Trent Bridge.
Broad took a wicket in the third of his eight overs but Paterson starred, finishing with a career-best 8-52 as Worcestershire were dismissed for 159 in the division two clash.
They were the best bowling figures at Trent Bridge since Broad’s extraordinary 8-15 against Australia in 2015.
Meanwhile, Glamorgan’s Australian veteran paceman Michael Hogan did his bit to derail prolific Pakistani Shan Masood’s push to score 1,000 runs by the end of May.
Masood’s remarkable start to the season continued as he scored 60 before falling to 40-year-old Hogan, who was the pick of the Glamorgan attack with 3-45 in Derbyshire’s 5-282.
Still, Masood remains on course for the most runs ever scored in April, with the left-hander closing in on Nick Compton’s record tally of 712 in the same month in 2012.
After consecutive double centuries, Masood had 611 runs from four innings going into the match but could have been removed by Hogan in his excellent opening spell.
Australian Test allrounder Michael Neser, on antibiotics for an infected toe, struggled with his line but Hogan was relentless in his accuracy and deserved more than the one wicket he took in an opening seven-over shift that cost only 11 runs.
Masood completed his fifth consecutive 50 shortly after lunch and looked to be moving towards another three-figure score until Hogan held a smart return catch, leaving the Pakistani on 671 runs for the month.