Tomorrow sees the start of the sixteenth round of matches in this season’s LV= County Championship, with the competition now entering its latter stages. By far the tastiest of this round’s fixtures is the match up at Scarborough which sees leaders Yorkshire do battle against second-placed Durham. Elsewhere, Middlesex, Sussex and Warwickshire could bring themselves back into title contention with wins.
Tomorrow’s LV=CC Fixtures: (all matches start at 1100 BST)
Middlesex v Somerset at Lord’s
The hosts welcome back captain Chris Rogers from Ashes duty as they aim to bounce back from defeat to Derbyshire last time out. They are, however, weakened by the losses of Steven Finn, Eoin Morgan and Adam Voges to international duty.
Middlesex squad: Chris Rogers (captain), Sam Robson, Joe Denly, Neil Dexter, Dawid Malan, John Simpson, Gareth Berg, Ollie Rayner, Toby Roland-Jones, James Harris, Tim Murtagh, Corey Collymore, Ravi Patel.
Somerset are locked in a relegation battle with Surrey and Derbyshire and will be desperately looking for their second win of the season. They are without five key players for their trip to Lord’s. Jos Buttler is unavailable due to England commitments, while Peter Trego, Steve Kirby, Jack Leach and Adam Dibble are all injured or unwell.
Somerset squad: Marcus Trescothick (captain), Nick Compton, Chris Jones, James Hildreth, Craig Kieswetter, Alex Barrow, Craig Meschede, Piyush Chawla, Alfonso Thomas, Jamie Overton, George Dockrell, Lewis Gregory.
Warwickshire v Sussex at Edgbaston
The Bears welcome back Chris Woakes into their Championship squad and have also included the retiring Darren Maddy for what could be his final game in Warwickshire colours. Captain Jim Troughton is still injured so Varun Chopra will again lead the side.
Warwickshire squad: Varun Chopra (captain), Ian Westwood, William Porterfield, Laurie Evans, Tim Ambrose, Rikki Clarke, Chris Woakes, Ateeq Javid, Keith Barker, Jeetan Patel, Recardo Gordon, Tom Milnes, Darren Maddy.
Sussex are without Matt Prior, Amjad Khan and Matthew Hobden for their match against the defending champions but do welcome back Ben Brown from a finger injury.
Sussex squad: Chris Nash, Luke Wells, Ed Joyce (captain), Michael Yardy, Matt Machan, Rory Hamilton-Brown, Ben Brown, Chris Jordan, Steve Magoffin, James Anyon, Lewis Hatchett, Will Beer, Chris Liddle.
Yorkshire v Durham at Scarborough
The big match sees Yorkshire’s middle-order strengthened by a clutch of international players. Recent overseas signing Kane Williamson will join England Lions’ Gary Ballance and England’s Jonny Bairstow in a formidable top five.
Yorkshire squad: Alex Lees, Andrew Gale (captain), Phil Jaques, Kane Williamson, Gary Ballance, Jonny Bairstow, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Ryan Sidebottom, Steven Patterson, Jack Brooks, Adam Lyth, Richard Pyrah, Andrew Hodd.
Durham welcome back Ben Stokes from England Lions duty into a 13-man squad and have included off-spinner Ryan Buckley alongside leg-spinner Scott Borthwick in case the pitch at the North Marine Road Ground should look like taking spin. Graham Onions is still missing due to a finger injury.
Durham squad: Mark Stoneman, Keaton Jennings, Scott Borthwick, Will Smith, Paul Collingwood (captain), Ben Stokes, Phil Mustard, Usman Arshad, Mark Wood, Jamie Harrison, Chris Rushworth, Michael Richardson, Ryan Buckley.
Gloucestershire v Essex at Bristol
Gloucestershire and Essex are separated by just a point and know that anything other than a win will see their promotion hopes likely ended for another season. The home side have named an unchanged eleven from their draw against Kent.
Gloucestershire XI: Michael Klinger (captain), Chris Dent, Gareth Roderick, Alex Gidman, Hamish Marshall, Benny Howell, Will Gidman, Tom Smith, David Payne, Craig Miles, Liam Norwell.
Essex are without Ravi Bopara following his England call-up and have also chosen to rest Reece Topley with Tymal Mills the beneficiary. Tom Westley is still out with a broken finger.
Essex XI: Jaik Mickleburgh, Gautam Gambhir, Owais Shah, Greg Smith, Ryan ten Doeschate, Ben Foakes, James Foster (captain), Graham Napier, David Masters, Monty Panesar, Tymal Mills.
Lancashire v Hampshire at Southport
Lancashire are almost certain to be promoted, especially as their next match is against bottom-placed Leicestershire. However, they will be tested by Hampshire who still have an outside shot at promotion but pretty much have to win here. The home side welcome back Simon Kerrigan from Ashes duty.
Lancashire squad: Luis Reece, Paul Horton, Ashwell Prince, Simon Katich, Andrea Agathangelou, Luke Procter, Tom Smith, Gareth Cross, Glen Chapple (captain), Kyle Hogg, Simon Kerrigan, Karl Brown, Oliver Newby, Steven Croft.
Hampshire have included new loan signing Matt Coles (see News In Brief) in their 13-man squad. They are, however, without England T20 players Danny Briggs and Michael Carberry, with 16 year-old off-spinner Brad Taylor included.
Hampshire squad: Jimmy Adams (captain), Michael Roberts, Liam Dawson, Neil McKenzie, James Vince, Sean Ervine, Adam Wheater, Matt Coles, Chris Wood, David Balcombe, Brad Taylor, James Tomlinson, Hamza Riazuddin.
Leicestershire v Worcestershire at Grace Road
Likely wooden-spoonists Leicestershire have named Matthew Hoggard, Nathan Buck and Ben Raine in a 13-man squad. Ramnaresh Sarwan has still not returned from playing in the Caribbean Premier League and is not available. Jigar Naik, Anthony Ireland and Robbie Williams are also not available, while Tom Wells is rested.
Leicestershire squad: Greg Smith, Niall O’Brien, Ned Eckersley, Shiv Thakor, Matthew Boyce (captain), Josh Cobb, Ben Raine, Ollie Freckingham, Nathan Buck, James Sykes, Matthew Hoggard, Alex Wyatt, Robert Taylor.
Worcestershire will still entertain hopes of promotion and have made one change to their squad. Ben Cox is dropped, with Michael Johnson recalled behind the stumps.
Worcestershire squad: Daryl Mitchell (captain), Matthew Pardoe, Moeen Ali, Thilan Samaraweera, Tom Fell, Joe Leach, Ross Whiteley, Michael Johnson, Jack Shantry Graeme Cessford, Alan Richardson, Shaaiq Choudhry.
Northamptonshire v Glamorgan at Wantage Road
The hosts have named a 12-man squad that includes in-form all-rounder David Willey and overseas seam-bowler Trent Copeland. They sit second in the table and will want to bounce back from yesterday’s disappointment in the Yorkshire Bank 40. Their final selection decision is likely to be between seam-bowler Mohammad Azharullah and off-spinning all-rounder Rob Keogh.
Northamptonshire squad: Stephen Peters (captain), James Middlebrook, David Sales, Alex Wakely, Ben Duckett, Andrew Hall, David Willey, Steven Crook, David Murphy, Trent Copeland, Mohammad Azharullah, Rob Keogh.
Glamorgan are unlikely to gain promotion and have rested Michael Hogan with an eye on the Yorkshire Bank 40 semi-final next month. Mike Reed and John Glover will vie to replace him in the starting eleven, although both could play if off-spinner Andrew Salter is left out.
Glamorgan squad: Gareth Rees, Will Bragg, Murray Goodwin, Ben Wright, Chris Cooke, Jim Allenby, Mark Wallace (captain), Graham Wagg, John Glover, Dean Cosker, Mike Reed, Andrew Salter.
Weather Forecast: Most of any early cloud will soon burn off leaving a sunny day with only patchy cloud, particularly for the west and midlands. It should stay dry, with temperatures peaking at between 19 and 22 degrees Celsius.
County Cricket News In Brief:
Hampshire have signed departing Kent all-rounder Matt Coles on loan for the rest of the season. Coles turned down the offer of a new contract with Kent earlier this month and may look to make the move to Southampton a permanent one, although Derbyshire are one of a number of counties known to be interested in signing the 23 year-old.
Dean Cosker has become the latest Glamorgan cricketer to speak out over disagreements with the club over a new contract. He said, “At the moment the club’s position is not really budging on what they’ve sort of offered at the moment.” Simon Jones and Murray Goodwin are the other players out of contract at the end of the season who have spoken publicly about concerns over new deals.
The ECB has confirmed the dates and times for the Yorkshire Bank 40 semi-finals. Hampshire will play Glamorgan on Saturday 7th September with a 1245 BST start. Nottinghamshire will then take on Somerset two days later at 1610 BST. Both matches will be shown live on Sky Sports and both have a reserve day.
© Cricket World 2013