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Wagner enjoys Duke ball on Lancs debut

NZN 17/04/2016

New Zealand left-armer Neil Wagner likes the English Duke ball and has returned the best debut figures in 93 years on his first outing for English county side Lancashire.

The quick bowler took 6-66 for the Red Roses against Nottinghamshire, helping dismiss them for 242, in their Division One clash at Old Trafford.

They were the best bowling figures on debut for Lancashire since 1923, and took the attention away from England seamer James Anderson's return to the Lancashire side. Anderson went wicketless.

The day began well for the home bowlers as they reduced the visitors to 73 for four, Kyle Jarvis and Wagner taking two wickets apiece after Nottinghamshire skipper Chris Read had chosen to have first use of what looked a good batting pitch.

South African-born Wagner picked up a wicket after lunch and dominated play in the hour after tea, when he took three more.

Read offered determined resistance with an innings of 52 before he became Wagner's sixth victim.

In reply Lancashire were 19-1 at stumps.

"Once we adjusted our plans this morning and began to bowl a little straighter, we got some reward," Wagner said.

"We had to be patient. There was a little bit of swing and that's something I've been working on but it's lovely bowling with Duke balls and the way they go round. It was a bit cold and fresh but it still swung."

Wagner's Lancashire debut figures were the best since 6-23 by South African Test cricketer Alf Hall, also a left-arm seamer, against Oxford University in 1923.

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