David Hopps writes on county cricket for ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps
T20 Challenge (1)
BAN v SL (1)
SL-W in PAK (1)
ENG v NZ (1)
Vitality Blast (4)
4-Day Championship (3)
Lancashire 236 (Croft 53, Reece 6-58) and 4 for 0 beat Derbyshire 153 (Anderson 5-18) and 84 (Onions 5-38, Anderson 4-29) by 10 wickets
With the start of the Ashes six weeks away, the health of Jimmy Anderson is one of England's prime concerns. MI5 probably have surveillance officers monitoring his every movement, poised to warn of anything disturbing like a bit of a limp or, even worse, the merest sign of a smile.
Intelligence reports from Derby will be filed away with satisfaction. Another four wickets on the third morning for Anderson, and nine in the match at a cost of only 47 runs. Fitness and rhythm exceeding expectations at this stage. Grumpiness at a promising level when the ball kept passing the outside edge. Too many of those to count.
Recommendation: With Lancashire top of Division Two, and 10 days' inactivity until their next game, against Durham at Sedbergh School, surveillance can be called back. MI5 resources perhaps better employed taking a closer look at Stuart Broad.
The only concern surrounds the fact that the opening day of the Ashes is on Yorkshire Day. As a Lancastrian, Anderson's mood cannot be reliably predicted.
Twenty-eight Championship wickets at 8.64 runs apiece have massaged Anderson's mood and, if they have come disturbingly easily, his method looks as ingrained as ever. At 36, his fitness and suppleness remains exemplary. He bowls when he wants and comes off when he chooses.
Derbyshire resumed at 19 for 4, 64 runs away from making Lancashire bat again. It was a modest aim, but as helpful bowling conditions persisted into the third day it was an entirely realistic one. They managed to set Lancashire two runs to win, Keaton Jennings avoided a pair by thick edging the first ball for four and everything was wrapped up five minutes before lunch. As Derbyshire's director of cricket, Dave Houghton remarked: "It was our first drubbing of the season and we've been given a good hiding."
Derbyshire's fifth-wicket pair survived for 50 minutes more by luck than judgment against Anderson and Graham Onions. Frustration was welling up; the surveillance team by the sightscreen began to fret about possible overload.
Anderson, in solemn mood, applauded Alex Hughes with good humour for managing to leave a wide one after endless playing and missing. Four byes when a bouncer sailed over Harvey Hosein's head did not disturb him, nor did a hook shot from the same batsmen which fell close to Onions at long leg. At least it was Onions who suffered a bad drop at first slip by Jennings when Hughes managed to make contact.
Then three wickets in seven balls restored equilibrium and the pessimism of Derbyshire supporters was proved to be based on decades of evidence. Anderson claimed the first two. Hughes got bat on an outswinger and then Matt Critchley, seeking out the leg-side as is his habit, was lbw and left gesturing that he touched it.
The third fell to Onions, a simple catch at first slip to remove Luis Reece who had been demoted to No. 8 because of injury and didn't really look up for it. Logan van Beek drove Anderson to gully and Onions mopped up the last two, including Hosein, who resisted diligently until he was caught behind for 29.
Five to Anderson, four to Onions and the promise of a dry afternoon to return to Manchester. When it comes to fast bowlers, especially vintage ones, the fear is that something could go wrong at any moment. Nothing did. Quite the opposite.
James Anderson, Graham Onions bowl Lancashire to big win over Derbyshire
Veterans claim nine scalps between them in Derbyshire's second innings as Lancashire win by 10 wickets