Tomorrow’s see the start of the eighteenth round of matches in this season’s LV= County Championship. The pick of the fixtures is arguably the match at Derby between the relegation-threatened hosts and leaders Durham. Somerset v Surrey is also a crucial encounter in the fight to stave off relegation.
Tomorrow’s LV= County Championship Fixtures: (1030 BST start)
Derbyshire v Durham at Derby
An intriguing contest sees Durham, battling Yorkshire for the title, and Derbyshire, battling to avoid relegation, do battle at the County Ground. The home side, unusually for a side in seventh place, are actually enjoying a good run of form, having won three of their last four games. They welcome Mark Turner into their squad at the expense of the injured Matt Higginbottom. Chesney Hughes is still on paternity leave.
Derbyshire squad: Paul Borrington, Ben Slater, Wayne Madsen (captain), Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Richard Johnson, Alex Hughes, Tom Poynton, David Wainwright, Tony Palladino, Tim Groenewald, Mark Footitt, Mark Turner, Peter Burgoyne.
Mark Wood (side strain) and Ben Stokes (England) continue to miss out for Durham. They do, however, welcome back Jamie Harrison from an ankle injury, with off-spinner Ryan Buckley also included.
Durham squad: Mark Stoneman, Keaton Jennings, Scott Borthwick, Will Smith, Michael Richardson, Paul Collingwood (captain), Phil Mustard, Usman Arshad, Jamie Harrison, Chris Rushworth, Graham Onions, Mitchell Claydon, Ryan Buckley.
Middlesex v Nottinghamshire at Lord’s
Middlesex are still an outside bet for the title, while Nottinghamshire are an outside bet for relegation and have been slipping closer to the drop over recent weeks. The hosts simply have to win to keep their title hopes alive, but are without the injured Toby Roland-Jones and Corey Collymore, who has returned to Barbados for personal reasons. Gurjit Sandhu and Tom Helm are likely to vie for the final starting place.
Middlesex squad: Chris Rogers (captain), Sam Robson, Joe Denly, Dawid Malan, Neil Dexter, John Simpson, Gareth Berg, Ollie Rayner, James Harris, Tim Murtagh, Gurjit Sandhu, Ravi Patel, Tom Helm, Josh Davey.
Nottinghamshire come into the match off yesterday’s win in the Yorkshire Bank 40 semi-final and would love a win to more or less secure their top-flight status. They have named Paul Franks in a 13-man squad.
Nottinghamshire squad: Steven Mullaney, Alex Hales, Michael Lumb, James Taylor, Samit Patel, David Hussey, Chris Read (captain), Ajmal Shahzad, Andre Adams, Luke Fletcher, Harry Gurney, Paul Franks, Riki Wessels.
Somerset v Surrey at Taunton
The two sides at the foot of the table travel to Taunton and will have half an eye on events at Derby. Somerset need to bounce back quickly from their loss last night but will still be without Jos Buttler, with Jamie Overton also unavailable due to England commitments. George Dockell does, however, return from international duty with Ireland.
Somerset squad: Marcus Trescothick (captain), Nick Compton, Chris Jones, James Hildreth, Craig Kieswetter, Alex Barrow, Peter Trego, Lewis Gregory, Piyush Chawla, Alfonso Thomas, George Dockrell, Craig Meschede.
Surrey have dropped Arun Harinath after a run of low scores and will open with teenager Dominic Sibley. Gary Wilson returns to a 14-man squad from Ireland duty, while Chris Tremlett and Zafar Ansari are also included to give the visitors some tough selection decisions.
Surrey squad: Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Hashim Amla, Vikram Solanki, Gary Wilson, Steven Davies, Zafar Ansari, Gareth Batty (captain), Stuart Meaker, Chris Tremlett, Jade Dernbach, Zander de Bruyn, Tim Linley, Gary Keedy.
Sussex v Yorkshire at Hove
Sussex are mid-table and have little to play for. However, they can put a dent in Yorkshire’s title challenge, which has just begun to wither in recent times. They welcome back Ed Joyce, Matt Prior and Matt Machan from international duty, but are without Chris Jordan and Luke Wright. Left-arm spinner and trialist Ashar Zaidi is included as alternative slow-bowling option to Will Beer, while Andy Miller could replace Steve Magoffin if the latter fails to shake off a virus.
Sussex squad: Chris Nash, Luke Wells, Michael Yardy, Ed Joyce (captain), Matt Prior, Matt Machan, Ben Brown, Will Beer, Steve Magoffin, James Anyon, Lewis Hatchett, Andy Miller, Ashar Zaidi, Rory Hamilton-Brown.
The visitors boast a ridiculously strong batting line-up that has bags of international experience.
Yorkshire squad: Adam Lyth, Andrew Gale (captain), Phil Jaques, Kane Williamson, Gary Ballance, Jonny Bairstow, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Ryan Sidebottom, Steven Patterson, Jack Brooks, Richard Pyrah, Alex Lees, Andrew Hodd.
Kent v Essex at Canterbury
Kent sit eighth in the table after a disappointing season, but did win last time out against Glamorgan. They have therefore named an unchanged 12-man squad that is still without England’s James Tredwell.
Kent squad: Sam Northeast, Rob Key, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Brendan Nash, Ben Harmison, Darren Stevens, Geraint Jones (captain), Calum Haggett, Mark Davies, Adam Riley, Charlie Shreck, Fabian Cowdrey.
Essex desperately need to win to keep their promotion hopes alive and keep up the pressure on Northamptonshire. They welcome back Gautam Gambhir, who missed the m win over Worcestershire due to a family bereavement, with Sajid Mahmood displacing Tymal Mills in a 12-man squad.
Essex squad: Jaik Mickleburgh, Gautam Gambhir, Greg Smith, Owais Shah, Ryan ten Doeschate, Ben Foakes, James Foster (captain), Graham Napier, David Masters, Monty Panesar, Reece Topley, Sajid Mahmood.
Lancashire v Leicestershire at Old Trafford
Lancashire need 18 points from this match to guarantee promotion and 23 to guarantee the Division Two title. They must surely fancy achieving at least the first of those against bottom-placed and winless Leicestershire. Former Zimbabwe seamer Kyle Jarvis is included in the squad for the first time, while Alex Davies will replace Gareth Cross behind the stumps. Glen Chapple is out injured so he hosts will be led by Paul Horton.
Lancashire squad: Paul Horton (captain), Luis Reece, Ashwell Prince, Simon Katich, Andrea Agathangelou, Luke Procter, Tom Smith, Alex Davies, Kyle Hogg, Kyle Jarvis, Simon Kerrigan, Oliver Newby.
Leicestershire will be without Matthew Hoggard, Shiv Thakor and Josh Cobb for their trip to Old Trafford, although they do welcome back Niall O’Brien and Rob Taylor from international duty with Ireland and Scotland respectively. Nathan Buck returns to the squad after recovering from injury, while Michael Thornely is recalled after a strong showing for the second XI.
Leicestershire squad: Greg Smith, Angus Robson, Ned Eckersley, Matthew Boyce (captain), Niall O’Brien, Michael Thornely, Ben Raine, Rob Taylor, James Sykes, Ollie Freckingham, Nathan Buck, Alex Wyatt, Tom Wells.
Worcestershire v Hampshire at New Road
Both sides are well out of the promotion hunt. The hosts have included Chris Russell in a 13-man squad ahead of David Lucas.
Worcestershire squad: Daryl Mitchell (captain), Matthew Pardoe, Moeen Ali, Thilan Samaraweera, Tom Fell, Joe Leach, Ross Whiteley, Ben Cox, Jack Shantry, Graeme Cessford, Alan Richardson, Shaaiq Choudhry, Chris Russell.
Hampshire welcome back England spinner Danny Briggs into their 13-man squad at the expense of Ruel Brathwaite, while James Vince returns and replaces Neil McKenzie. All-rounders Matt Coles and Chris Wood and batsman Sean Terry are also included.
Hampshire squad: Jimmy Adams (captain), Michael Roberts, Liam Dawson, James Vince, Sean Ervine, Sean Terry, Adam Wheater, Matt Coles, Chris Wood, Danny Briggs, David Balcombe, James Tomlinson, Michael Bates.
Weather Forecast: The forecast for tomorrow is not favourable, with a band of rain expected to move southwards throughout the course of the day. Matches in the south-east should see play in the morning before the rain arrives, with those in the north standing a slight chance of play later if the rain pushes through. Temperatures will remain cool, peaking at between 13 and 16 degrees Celsius.
County Cricket News In Brief:
The life of former Surrey CCC president Betty Surridge was celebrated at a memorial service in Kennington today. Besides becoming Surrey’s first female president, she was one of the 23 original members of the charitable organisation, the Lady Taverners, when they were formed in 1987.
Middlesex Director of Cricket Angus Fraser has told BBC London 94.9 that the number of signings that the club will make this winter depends largely on whether Eoin Morgan retains his central contract. Fraser said, “We are not 100 per cent sure whether Eoin will have his central contract renewed. If he [doesn’t and] comes back onto Middlesex’s wage bill that eats up a sizeable sum of the pot I’ve got.”
Hampshire captain Jimmy Adams has told BBC Radio Solent that he is unsure whether he will be captain again in 2014. “There’s parts of captaincy that are great, and there’s parts of it that I find tough,” Adams said. “We’ve got to decide what the best thing is for the team going forward.”
Worcestershire have announced that they will not be offering wicket-keeper Michael Johnson and all-rounder Aneesh Kapil new contracts when they expire at the end of the season. Kapil’s release is a particular surprise given that he is highly thought of by many at the club.
© Cricket World 2013