Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

James Anderson wicketless on day one of Lancashire return versus Gloucestershire

James Anderson was back in action for Lancashire on Thursday (Martin Rickett/PA)
James Anderson was back in action for Lancashire on Thursday (Martin Rickett/PA)

James Anderson’s quest to regain his England place got off to a low-key start at Emirates Old Trafford, where he ceded the spotlight to Lancashire team-mate Hassan Ali on day one against Gloucestershire.

The country’s record wicket-taker, three months shy of his 40th birthday as he began his 21st season as a first-class cricketer, was controversially dropped for last month’s Test tour of the West Indies and has made it clear he wants his shirt back under Rob Key’s new regime.

Anderson’s return to action was the main attraction of this LV= Insurance County Championship game, but he finished wicketless as the visitors were bowled out for 252.

Instead it was Pakistan star Hassan who did the major damage, claiming six for 47, as Lancashire dragged the visitors back following a century opening partnership between Marcus Harris and Chris Dent.

Anderson got through 16 overs across four spells, stitching together seven maidens and conceding just 30 runs, but he was unable to mark his competitive comeback with a breakthrough.

With the England and Wales Cricket Board’s head scout James Taylor in attendance, it was Saqib Mahmood who did more to draw the eye. Although ultimately overshadowed by Hassan’s haul, he underlined the positive impressions he made in the Caribbean, where he made his Test bow in Anderson’s absence.

The 25-year-old impressed in Barbados and Grenada and, having turned down an IPL approach to hone his red-ball skills, took two for 44 on his Red Rose return.

An assured century partnership between Australian Harris (67) and Dent (52) had made good on Graeme van Buuren’s decision to bat first – a sound enough call given the trueness of the surface, but a brave one too given the riches in the home bowling unit.

Anderson kicked off the day with a wide and found gentle swing with the new ball, trying four overs from the end that bares his name and three more from the Brian Statham End without upsetting Harris or Dent’s admirable concentration.

The pair emerged unscathed from the morning session and kept Lancashire waiting until 2.10pm to make their breakthrough, Dent nicking Hassan to second slip. Having held out admirably, Gloucestershire proceeded to lose six for 31 in a chaotic run-up to tea.

Saqib removed the well-set Harris with one that snaked towards his hips and brushed through to Phil Salt and later had Van Buuren caught behind pulling a drag down. Those wickets came from the last ball of one spell and the first of another, with Anderson having turned in five tidy but undramatic overs in between.

The in-form James Bracey was clean bowled for five propping forward to George Balderson, before Hassan took out Miles Hammond and Tom Lace with successive deliveries, the latter lbw for a golden duck.

A 65-run stand between Ryan Higgins (51no) and Zafar Gohar ended when the latter was stumped charging Matt Parkinson, before Hassan returned to finish his work. He clean bowled Josh Shaw off an inside edge, secured a fifth when Jared Warner nicked the second new ball to third slip and took out Ajeet Dale to wrap the innings.

That left Lancashire with six overs to face before stumps and Balderson was run out with five deliveries remaining, Gohar’s throw giving the away team a late boost heading into day two.