Gary Keedy celebrated his England Lions call-up by claiming six wickets as Lancashire put leaders Durham on the back foot on the opening day of the LV County Championship Division One match at Old Trafford.
The 34-year-old spinner last represented his country at under-19 level, but gave the selectors a nudge with a season’s best display which saw him bowl 36 overs in the day and finish with 6-85.
See the highlights tomorrow on www.Lancs.TV
Fellow left-arm spinner Stephen Parry, playing his first Championship match at Old Trafford, chipped in with 2- 51 while on-loan seamer Tom Lungley marked his debut with the other two wickets as Durham were bowled out for 270 in their first innings just before close.
Paul Horton faced just five balls in Lancashire’s reply without scoring before rain brought an early end to play.
“The seamers have dominated this year,” said Keedy, “With the new ball now coming at 80 overs, spinners don’t get as much of a look-in because you are never too far away from another new ball. But I got the ball early in my hand today and being patient was the key.
“We saw the ball turn early on and knew the wickets would come, and that applied to Stephen Parry as well who I thought bowled brilliantly on his home debut.
“The key for the whole day was patience and not to get too carried away with the ball spinning.”
With England duo Jimmy Anderson and Andrew Flintoff both having treatment at the ground ahead of the final Ashes Test, and injuries ruling Sajid Mahmood, Glen Chapple and Tom Smith out, Lancashire’s bowlers produced a battling display to keep the division one runaway leaders below 300.
Especially after the start Durham, who have Graham Onions in their ranks, made after winning the toss, with openers Michael Di Venuto and Mark Stoneman plundering 69 off the first 15 overs.
But Keedy changed it all after coming on in the 17th over.
First, he trapped Stoneman lbw on 33, then he forced Di Venuto, who became just the third player this season to pass 1,000 Championship runs on the way to his 53, into a false shot and Kyle Hogg claimed the catch at mid-off.
While Keedy twirled away at one end, Lungley bowled tightly at the other after lunch and claimed the crucial wicket of Gordon Muchall lbw for 39 to break a 61-run partnership with Will Smith.
The Durham captain went next after edging a cut off Parry to captain Luke Sutton behind the stumps.
Keedy switched ends and had Dale Benkenstein caught at gully by Horton. Then, off the final ball before tea, Mark Chilton pulled off a stunning one-handed catch at bat-pad to get rid of Phil Mustard as Durham went into the interval on 207-6.
Chilton clung on to another great chance at short leg at the start of the final session as Parry, who was hit for two sixes by Ian Blackwell, gained his revenge on the former England all-rounder.
An eighth-wicket stand of 56 by Liam Plunkett and Callum Thorp steadied the Durham ship, although Parry could have nipped it in the bud much earlier. First, he dropped Plunkett off his own bowling and then saw Horton put down a chance off Thorp at slip in his next over.
In the end it was Keedy, returning to the attack with the second new ball just five overs old, who broke the partnership when Chilton snapped up Thorp at short leg. Lungley claimed his second in the next over when Chilton took his fourth catch of the day to get rid of Onions. And the spinners combined to round things off, with Parry catching Plunkett at backward point to give Keedy his sixth wicket.
But it was all a bit of a blur for Lungley, who is with the club for four weeks, with the seamer admitting the last few days have been a bit crazy.
“I could have been on a club ground playing for Derbyshire seconds today and instead I am at Old Trafford playing for Lancashire. I am over the moon,” said the 30-year-old.
“I didn’t feel many nerves. I just told myself to keep things simple, and not put too much pressure on myself.”
Photos: Simon Pendrigh
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd