The LV= County Championship returns tomorrow after its mid-season break for the Friends Life t20. There are several crunch matches in the 14th round, with leaders Yorkshire taking on defending champions Warwickshire and third-placed Durham playing fourth-placed Middlesex. We preview all of the fixtures.
Middlesex v Durham at Lord’s
The home side are just 4.5 points behind fourth-placed Durham and will hope to keep their title challenge alive with a win. They are without overseas player Chris Rogers due to Ashes commitments, with Adam Voges replacing him. Also missing are Toby Roland-Jones and James Harris who are still recovering from injuries.
Middlesex squad: Sam Robson, Joe Denly, Eoin Morgan, Adam Voges, Neil Dexter (captain), John Simpson, Gareth Berg, Ollie Rayner, Tim Murtagh, Steven Finn, Corey Collymore, Dawid Malan, Ravi Patel, Gurjit Sandhu.
Durham are boosted by the return of captain Paul Collingwood from a thumb injury as they look to make up ground on the leading pair of Yorkshire and Sussex. Graham Onions is also available after being left out of England’s latest Ashes squad.
Durham squad: Mark Stoneman, Keaton Jennings, Scott Borthwick, Paul Collingwood (captain), Ben Stokes, Will Smith, Phil Mustard, Mark Wood, Calum Thorp, Graham Onions, Chris Rushworth, Michael Richardson, Ryan Buckley.
Somerset v Nottinghamshire at Taunton
Marcus Trescothick returns from an ankle injury to lead the Cidermen, having hit a double-hundred for the second XI yesterday. Overseas player Alviro Petersen was not deemed ready to play after recently flying back from Sri Lanka.
Somerset squad: Marcus Trescothick (captain), Nick Compton, Chris Jones, James Hildreth, Jos Buttler, Craig Kieswetter, Peter Trego, Alfonso Thomas, George Dockrell, Steve Kirby, Jamie Overton, Craig Meschede.
Nottinghamshire sit just one place above their opponents in the table but have a 25-point cushion and will still have half a eye on a late title challenge. James Taylor is named in a 13-man squad after failing to make the cut for England at Old Trafford earlier today. Left-arm spinner Graeme White is also included and may play if the pitch looks like taking turn. Championship regulars Andre Adams, Ajmal Shahzad and Luke Fletcher are all included.
Nottinghamshire squad: Alex Hales, Steven Mullaney, Michael Lumb, James Taylor, Samit Patel, David Hussey, Chris Read (captain), Ajmal Shahzad, Luke Fletcher, Andre Adams, Harry Gurney, Graeme White, Jake Ball.
Sussex v Derbyshire at Hove
Sussex pretty much have to win against beleaguered Derbyshire if they are to keep their title hopes alive and will welcome the change in format after an uncharacteristically dismal T20 campaign.
Derbyshire coach Karl Krikken has responded to his side’s winless Championship season by axing experienced batsmen Dan Redfern and Wes Durston from a 12-man squad. Included instead are youngsters Alex Hughes, Ben Slater and seamer Matt Higginbottom. Tony Palladino remain unavailable due to injury.
Derbyshire squad: Chesney Hughes, Ben Slater, Wayne Madsen (captain), Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Richard Johnson, Alex Hughes, Tom Poynton, Peter Burgoyne, Tim Groenewald, Matt Higginbottom, Mark Footitt, Mark Turner.
Yorkshire v Warwickshire at Headingley
The Championship leaders are without the injured duo of Phil Jaques (rib) and Joe Sayers (thigh) as they look to stretch their lead at the top. Richard Pyrah is included in a 12-man squad.
Yorkshire squad: Alex Lees, Adam Lyth, Andrew Gale (captain), Gary Ballance, Richard Pyrah, Adil Rashid, Andrew Hodd, Liam Plunkett, Ryan Sidebottom, Steve Patterson, Jack Brooks, Azeem Rafiq.
Jim Troughton returns to lead the Bears, with Keith Barker, Ian Westwood, Tom Milnes and Tim Ambrose all named in the 13-man squad.
Warwickshire squad: Varun Chopra, Ian Westwood, William Porterfield, Jim Troughton (captain), Laurie Evans, Tim Ambrose, Rikki Clarke, Chris Woakes, Keith Barker, Jeetan Patel, Boyd Rankin, Ateeq Javid, Tom Milnes.
Hampshire v Glamorgan at Southampton
The hosts have a remarkably similar Championship line-up to that which has dominated the Friends Life t20 this year so it is puzzling to see them languishing in sixth in Division Two. Only a win will do if they are to keep their aspirations of Division One cricket for 2014 alive. They are boosted by the continued availability of Pakistani overseas player Sohail Tanvir.
Hampshire squad: Michael Carberry, Jimmy Adams (captain), Liam Dawson, Neil McKenzie, James Vince, Sean Ervine, Adam Wheater, Sohail Tanvir, Danny Briggs, David Balcombe, James Tomlinson, Chris Wood, David Griffiths.
Glamorgan sit just one place from the foot of the table but should have been buoyed by an improved, albeit ultimately fruitless, T20 campaign. Championship players such as Mike Reed, Will Bragg and John Glover are named in a 12-man squad.
Glamorgan squad: Gareth Rees, Will Bragg, Murray Goodwin, Marcus North, Chris Cooke, Jim Allenby, Mark Wallace (captain), Graham Wagg, Dean Cosker, Michael Hogan, Mike Reed, John Glover.
Leicestershire v Lancashire at Grace Road
Stragglers Leicestershire are without the injured pair of Joe Burns and Jigar Naik and could hand a Championship debut to highly-rated Academy graduate Tom Wells. Matthew Hoggard returns to a 12-man squad.
Leicestershire squad: Greg Smith, Niall O’Brien, Ned Eckerlsey, Matthew Boyce (captain), Shiv Thakor, Michael Thornely, Tom Wells, Ollie Freckingham, Anthon Ireland, James Sykes, Matthew Hoggard, Alex Wyatt.
Leaders Lancashire welcome back Paul Horton from a finger injury, but will be without left-arm spinner Stephen Parry for the rest of the season.
Lancashire squad: Paul Horton, Andrea Agathangelou, Luis Reece, Ashwell Prince, Simon Katich, Tom Smith, Gareth Cross, Wayne White, Kyle Hogg, Glen Chapple (captain), Simon Kerrigan, Luke Procter, Arron Lilley.
Northamptonshire v Gloucestershire at Wantage Road
Northamptonshire are boosted by the returns of Stephen Peters, Steven Crook and Alex Wakely and by their strong T20 campaign as they look to get back to winning ways in the Championship. Cameron White fills the role of overseas player.
Northamptonshire squad: Stephen Peters (captain), Kyle Coetzer, David Sales, Alex Wakely, Cameron White, Andrew Hall, Steven Crook, David Willey, James Middlebrook, David Murphy, Mohammad Azharullah, Luke Evans.
Gloucestershire sit fourth in the table and captain Michael Klinger has said that s good showing against second-placed Northants will bring them back into the promotion race. James Fuller has recovered from a foot injury and is included in their squad.
Gloucestershire squad: Michael Klinger (captain), Chris Dent, Gareth Roderick, Alex Gidman, Hamish Marshall, Ian Cockbain, Benn Howell, Will Gidman, James Fuller, Tom Smith, Craig Miles, Liam Norwell, Tom Shrewsbury.
Worcestershire v Kent at New Road
The Pears are fifth in Division Two and know that a win against seventh-placed Kent could well take them up to third. They have included newly-signed all-rounder Ross Whiteley in a 12-man squad.
Worcestershire squad: Daryl Mitchell (captain), Matthew Pardoe, Moeen Ali, Thilan Samaraweera, Ross Whiteley, Joe Leach, Ben Cox, Gareth Andrew, Jack Shantry, Graeme Cessford, Alan Richardson, Tom Fell.
James Tredwell returns from an ankle injury to lead Kent, with regulars Rob Key, Brendan Nash and Sam Northeast returning after being rested from the final group matches of the Friends Life t20.
Kent squad: Rob Key, Sam Northeast, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Brendan Nash, Darren Stevens, Ben Harmison, Geraint Jones, James Tredwell (captain), Matt Coles, Mark Davies, Mitchell Claydon, Adam Riley, Calum Haggett.
Group B, YB40, Surrey v Essex at The Oval (1540 BST start)
Both sides need to win if they are to keep alive their semi-final hopes in the Yorkshire Bank 40. Surrey will hope to make it two wins over the Eagles in 48 hours following last night’s win in the Friends Life t20. Essex are without the injured pair of Owais Shah (hamstring) and Tom Westley (broken finger).
Essex squad: Hamish Rutherford, Mark Pettini, Greg Smith, Ravi Bopara, Ryan ten Doeschate, James Foster (captain), Graham Napier, Tim Phillips, David Masters, Tymal Mills, Reece Topley, Sajid Mahmood, Jaik Mickleburgh.
Weather Forecast: It will be slightly cooler tomorrow, especially in the north and west. It will remain mostly sunny with only patchy cloud and occasional showers. Temperatures will peak at between 22 and 25 degrees Celsius.
County Cricket News In Brief:
Warwickshire have announced that left-arm spinner Chris Metters and seam-bowler Tom Allin will not be offered new contracts at the end of the season. Metters has been plagued by injury during his time at Edgbaston and missed all of last season with a shoulder injury.
© Cricket World 2013