History was made during an astonishing afternoon of cricket at Emirates Old Trafford as Lancashire’s James Anderson claimed both his 1,000th first-class wicket and his best career bowling figures of 7 for 19.
Anderson’s exploits ensured Kent were dismissed for just 74 in a shade over two hours after the players finally took to the field at 2pm on the second day, following almost incessant rain throughout the first four sessions of the game.
Taking the new ball Anderson, 38, took a wicket in each of his first three overs, before adding four more as Kent’s top order were blown away in an extraordinary spell from the Burnley-born bowler, whose previous best figures were his 7 for 42 for England against West Indies in 2017.
The wickets of Zak Crawley, edging to Rob Jones at second slip without scoring, Jordan Cox, edging to Luke Wells at first slip for 1 and Ollie Robinson, feathering one through to wicketkeeper Dane Vilas for 0, were near-identical examples of Anderson’s mastery of seam bowling, and reduced Kent to 5 for 3.
Jack Leaning became Anderson’s 999th victim when he edged to Jones for 2 before the stage was set for South African Heino Kuhn to become England’s leading Test wicket taker’s 1,000th scalp, 19 years after Surrey’s Ian Ward became his first.
Typically, Anderson didn’t stop there, taking his sixth wicket with the dismissal of Matt Milnes in his next over for 1 as Vilas claimed another catch after Danny Lamb spoilt Anderson’s chances of a 10-for by trapping Joe Denly in front for 12.
Anderson’s seventh wicket arrived in the 17th over with Vilas taking his fourth catch off the veteran bowler to dismiss Harry Podmore for 3. That left Kent 34 for 8 and looking every inch a side without a win in the LV= Insurance County Championship this season.
Only 45-year-old Darren Stevens offered any kind of resistance, bashing four boundaries in his knock of 19 before Lamb had him caught at mid-off with the same bowler also accounting for James Logan who became the last wicket to fall for 11.
Both Lamb’s 3 for 16 and Vilas’ five catches were of course overshadowed by Anderson’s efforts and he received a standing ovation from the ecstatic crowd as he walked off as only the 13th Lancashire bowler to complete the feat of 1,000 first-class wickets and becoming the first fast bowler to do it since Ken Higgs in 1968, and the first of any Red Rose bowler since Jack Simmons in 1988.
With many observers still confused by Kent’s decision to bat first, Lancashire’s openers entered the fray after tea and quickly looked like they were playing a different game.
Alex Davies was his usual busy self, scampering singles and hitting five fours and a six in his 43-ball 47 as he compiled an opening stand of 64 with Keaton Jennings before mistiming a cut shot off Matt Quinn through to Jordan Cox at first slip.
More late drama was to follow as Jennings and Luke Wells fell in consecutive balls to Quinn and Milnes, with Vilas departing soon after to Stevens before Josh Bohannon was bowled by Kent debutant Logan to leave the hosts 108 for 5 at the close.
Summarized scores: Lancashire 108 for 5 (Davies 47) lead Kent 74 (Anderson 7-19) by 34 runs