Anderson takes two wickets for Lancashire’s second XI in Ashes comeback attempt
James Anderson bowled nine overs and took two wickets for Lancashire’s second team as he began his Ashes comeback attempt on Tuesday.
The England seamer missed last week’s second Test against Australia at Lord’s after suffering a calf injury and bowling just four overs in the first match of the series at Edgbaston.
The 37-year-old has already been ruled out of this week’s third Test at Headingley but hopes to be fit for the fourth at his home ground of Old Trafford, beginning on September 4.
Anderson began his quest to return in the more sedate atmosphere of a second XI friendly against Leicestershire at the Northern Club in Great Crosby, Liverpool.
Watched by the England and Wales Cricket Board’s lead physiotherapist Ben Langley on the first day of a three-day match, Anderson bowled a spell in each of the first two sessions.
He bowled five overs below his regular pace before lunch and claimed the wicket of Sam Bates, caught behind. He stepped up slightly after the break and bowled a further four overs, during which he trapped Ben Mike lbw.
Anderson spent most of the rest of the innings, which ended soon after tea, fielding at first slip. He was not required to bat as Lancashire began their reply.
Anderson, England’s leading Test wicket-taker with 575 victims, will not feature on the second day as he returns to Old Trafford for a recovery and fitness session. He is expected to return for the final day on Thursday.
Second team coach Chris Benbow said: “He’s fine, he’s happy. He had an allotted spell of overs he wanted to bowl over the course of the three days and he’s probably bowled a little bit more today than he’d planned to.
“Ben Langley and (Lancashire physio) Dave Roberts are happy with how he’s gone. He’s moving well and he feels all right.”