Nick Gubbins ton buoys Hampshire after James Anderson, Hasan Ali impress

Lancashire 37 for 1 trail Hampshire 246 (Gubbins 101*, Fuller 55, Hasan 5-45) by 209 runs

Anderson, who was left out of England’s tour to the West Indies, has been given the green light to return to the Test side by new captain Ben Stokes and managing director Rob Key. At the Ageas Bowl, he produced a flawless new ball spell on his way to 3 for 24. Pakistan fast bowler Hasan Ali continued his excellent start at Lancashire with 5 for 45, with Nick Gubbins‘ 101 not out saving Hampshire after they had slumped to 40 for 5. Lancashire reached the close 37 for 1, 209 runs in arrears.

On the day Stokes was announced as England men’s Test captain, Anderson produced a casting tape of his best attributes. A reminder, if one is ever needed when you have 640 Test wickets, ahead of the upcoming series with New Zealand. Not that Stokes or Key asked for (or needed) one having made their intentions clear.

Inviting Anderson to bowl first on a green-tinged pitch under silvery skies is asking for trouble, but Hampshire did just that and predictably lost their top order cheaply. Anderson was at his controlling best in a first six-over spell which found brisk nibble in both directions.

After Tom Bailey had dismissed Joe Weatherley with an in-out set-up, Ian Holland pushed forward on one which held its fifth-stump line, while James Vince was bereft by a sharp in-ducker which resulted in an lbw decision. Anderson’s opening stint returned 2 for 6, with four maidens.

One of the motifs of this fixture is the blue-riband fast bowling attacks on show from both teams, something perfectly exemplified by the replacement of Anderson with Hasan. Coming off the back of a nine-wicket bag against Gloucestershire, Hasan maintained and built on Anderson’s pressure. He slightly squared up Liam Dawson with one that angled away off the seam before a leg-side delivery found its way to third slip via Ben Brown’s outside edge four balls later.

Hampshire needed a partnership. They got one through the pugnaciousness of Gubbins and Felix Organ, who put on 92 either side of lunch.
Gubbins spent a portion of his winter playing in Zimbabwe’s Logan Cup – scoring a century in two matches – and had begun his Championship season with a handful of starts and a 69 last week versus Kent. He was forced to temper his usual approach to churn to fifty in 133 balls.

Anderson returned to direct some short balls at Organ, who having negotiated a series of bumpers, tamely lobbed a top edge to leg slip for 42, before Keith Barker looped a leading-edge off Hasan.

James Fuller juxtaposed Gubbins by upping the tempo with his biffing and bottom-handed shot-making. He was 37 off 19 balls at one point, before slowing slightly to a 49-ball fifty, during an 83-run stand with Gubbins.

Gubbins reached his second century for Hampshire since arriving last summer, and the 12th of his first-class career, in 210 balls. But with Fuller bowled by Luke Wells, Hasan mopped up the tail ruthlessly to move to 19 scalps so far this season.

Wells and George Balderson had fewer issues against the new ball, although the latter tickled Barker behind late in the day.

(With Inputs from ESPN)

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