Day One, CCD1, Lancashire v Durham at Aigburth
Durham’s recent run of wins mean that they are now almost certain of avoiding relegation. However, the same cannot be said of Lancashire, who are tied in last-place on 87 points with Worcestershire. They are 15 points behind Surrey and safety. Durham have included reserve wicket-keeper Michael Richardson in their 13-man squad, with Mark Wood unavailable due to a side injury,
Day One, CCD1, Somerset v Surrey at Taunton
The home side’s captain Marcus Trescothick is expected to be fit in spite of ongoing problems with his ankle. Somerset will, however, be without Abdur Rehman as he is on international duty with Pakistan for what is a must-win game if they are to keep their slim Championship hopes alive. Both Overton twins, along with George Dockrell, will be available for selection after returning for the Under-19 World Cup. Meanwhile, Surrey are 15 points clear of the relegation places and have included Kevin Pietersen, Tim Linley, Stuart Meaker and Arun Harinath in their 13-man squad, but are without Jade Dernbach.
Day One, CCD1, Warwickshire v Nottinghamshire at Edgbaston
The match at Edgbaston is surely the pick of this round’s fixtures as it sees first-placed Warwickshire go head-to-head with third-placed Nottinghamshire. The Bears will be content with a draw, while a win would make them virtually uncatchable in the race for the Championship. The Outlaws, however, desperately need a win, but are not helped by the absences of Stuart Broad, Samit Patel and Graeme Swann. They do welcome back James Taylor from Test duty with England.
Day One, CCD1, Worcestershire v Middlesex at New Road
The home side have axed outgoing batsmen Vikram Solanki from their squad as they seek to avoid relegation by winning against mid-table Middlesex. Alexei Kervezee returns to the side, while Ben Cox is preferred to Ben Scott on the wicket-keeping front. Middlesex know that a win would pretty much guarantee them first division status for next season.
Day One, CCD2, Derbyshire v Essex at Derby
A win would just about seal Derbyshire’s promotion to Division One of the County Championship for next season, while Essex need a win just to stave off a last place finish as they are just 21 points off the bottom of the table.
Day One, CCD2, Glamorgan v Northamptonshire at Cardiff
The Welsh side are currently last in Division Two following Leicestershire’s win against Hampshire last week, with just two wins from 13 matches. They have named a 12-man squad which is still without the out-of-form Gareth Rees and includes spinners Robert Croft and Dean Cosker. Northamptonshire can still theoretically qualify, but a mid-table finish is realistically the best that they can hope for.
Day One, CCD2, Leicestershire v Kent at Grace Road
The Foxes have shown improved form over recent weeks, but they are still seventh and firmly locked in a battle with the likes of Glamorgan and Gloucestershire to avoid the wooden spoon. Kent are outside candidates for promotion, but desperately need a win to stay in contention.
Day One, CCD2, Yorkshire v Gloucestershire at Scarborough
Yorkshire are currently third with an incredible 11 draws from 13 matches in their fight for promotion. They have included on-loan wicket-keeper Andrew Hodd in their 13-man squad and are unsure of the availability of all-rounder Richard Pyrah, who is included pending the results of a scan on his left hand. Gloucestershire are one from last and have included Zimbabwean seamer Anthony Ireland in their 13-man squad.
Weather Forecast: Tomorrow will be a glorious day of almost wall-to-wall sunshine across England and Wales. There will be patchy cloud, which may yield the occasional light shower, but that is unlikely. Temperatures will peak at between 19 and 22 degrees Celsius.
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