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Anderson takes seven-wicket Championship haul ahead of England exit

England’s cricket legend James Anderson delivered a stellar performance for Lancashire in a County Championship fixture against Nottinghamshire on Tuesday, just a week before his final Test match.

Making his first Championship appearance in over a year, Anderson produced exceptional figures of 7-35, marking the best bowling performance of the season. His efforts led to Nottinghamshire being dismissed for 126 runs in response to Lancashire’s declared total of 353-9.

Nottinghamshire were then forced to follow-on at Southport, with the visitors reaching 84-2 by stumps on the third day, needing another 143 runs to avoid an innings defeat. This match serves as Anderson’s sole competitive outing this season as he prepares for England’s first Test against the West Indies at Lord’s, commencing on July 10.

Despite the long break since his last competitive match in March, Anderson displayed no signs of rustiness. He commenced with a remarkable spell, claiming six wickets for just 19 runs in his initial 10-over burst. His precision and control were evident as he dismissed former England batsman Haseeb Hameed, who inadvertently deflected the ball onto his stumps.

Anderson continued to dominate, securing all six wickets that fell before lunch, including Liam Patterson-White caught in the slips. This performance marked Anderson’s 55th five-wicket haul in first-class cricket.

After the break, Anderson returned to dismiss Dillon Pennington, potentially a Test debutant at Lord’s, caught behind.

Next week’s Test match will be Anderson’s 188th Test appearance, a testament to his illustrious career that began in 2003. He remains the first seamer and third bowler overall, after spinners Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan, to surpass 700 Test wickets.

Despite his exceptional achievements, Anderson has announced his retirement from Test cricket following the upcoming series opener at Lord’s. England’s decision to focus on future prospects ahead of the 2025/26 Ashes series has influenced this choice.

Post-retirement, Anderson plans to contribute as a mentor to England’s fast-bowling unit, although he has not yet confirmed if he will retire from county cricket this season.

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