The 17th round of the LV= County Championship begins tomorrow and, with us now into September, matches kick off half an hour earlier at 1030 BST. The picks of the fixtures are arguably the relegation clash between Somerset and Derbyshire and the fixture at Chester-le-Street, which could be crucial to the outcome of this season’s title race. We preview all of the matches as injuries and international call-ups start to take their toll.
Tomorrow’s LV= County Championship Fixtures:
Durham v Sussex at Chester-le-Street
The home side have a chance to take the lead in the title race, with leaders Yorkshire not having a fixture in this round of matches. They are, however, severely depleted by injuries following their sensational win at Scarborough. Jamie Harrison (ankle) and Mark Wood (side strain) both picked up injuries during the game, while Ben Stokes will be unavailable due to England ODI commitments. Graham Onions returns to lead the bowling attack after missing the previous game due to a broken finger, with Mitchell Claydon recalled from his loan deal at Kent. 19 year-old fast-bowler Josh Bousfield and Gareth Breese are also included in a 13-man squad.
Durham squad: Mark Stoneman, Keaton Jennings, Scott Borthwick, Will Smith, Paul Collingwood (captain), Michael Richardson, Phil Mustard, Usman Arshad, Graham Onions, Chris Rushworth, Mitchell Claydon, Gareth Breese, Josh Bousfield.
Sussex, who sit third in the table, are seriously weakened by international call-ups. Chris Jordan and Luke Wright are both in the England ODI squad, while Matt Machan will play for Scotland and skipper Ed Joyce for Ireland. Young batsman Harry Finch and Joe Gatting both come into the squad, while Steffan Piolet was included before being recalled from his loan deal by his parent county Warwickshire.
Sussex squad: Chris Nash (captain), Luke Wells, Michael Yardy, Rory Hamilton-Brown, Joe Gatting, Harry Finch, Ben Brown, Will Beer, Steve Magoffin, James Anyon, Lewis Hatchett, Chris Liddle.
Nottinghamshire v Warwickshire at Trent Bridge
Nottinghamshire could do with a win to keep themselves clear of the relegation dogfight, but they will have do without batsman James Taylor, who is in England’s squad for tomorrow’s ODI. Michael Lumb and Alex Hales should, however, return from T20 duty.
Warwickshire are more or less out of the title race following the draw against Sussex but will want to keep winning to ensure that they don’t get dragged too close to the bottom two. They have named their eleven, which includes all-rounder Steffan Piolet, who has been recalled from his loan deal with Sussex, and wicket-keeper Pete McKay, who will play with a broken finger to demonstrate the extent to which the club are running out of players . Rikki Clarke is still out injured, while William Porterfield is away with Ireland.
Warwickshire XI: Varun Chopra (captain), Ian Westwood, Laurie Evans, Ateeq Javid, Chris Woakes, Steffan Piolet, Keith Barker, Jeetan Patel, Pete McKay, Maurice Chambers, Recardo Gordon.
Somerset v Derbyshire at Taunton
Two of the bottom three sides in Division One do battle in what Somerset captain Marcus Trescothick has called a “massively important game”. The hosts are without Jos Buttler, Jamie Overton and George Dockrell due to international commitments, with Jack Leach and Adam Dibble both named in a 12-man squad.
Somerset squad: Marcus Trescothick (captain), Nick Compton, Chris Jones, James Hildreth, Craig Kieswetter, Alex Barrow, Lewis Gregory, Piyush Chawla, Craig Meschede, Alfonso Thomas, Adam Dibble, Jack Leach.
Derbyshire welcome back Tim Groenewald from paternity leave but are still without Chesney Hughes. Dan Redfern, Jonathan Clare and Mark Turner are all still injured.
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, Matt Higginbottom, Peter Burgoyne.
Surrey v Middlesex at The Oval
The home side finally recorded their first win of the season against Derbyshire last time out and welcome back Stuart Meaker from a long-term knee injury into their 13-man squad. Also included is Jade Dernbach, although Gary Wilson will be away playing for Ireland. Chris Tremlett is rested.
Surrey squad: Rory Burns, Arun Harinath, Hashim Amla, Vikram Solanki, Steven Davies, Zander de Bruyn, Zafar Ansari, Gareth Batty (captain), Stuart Meaker, Tim Linley, Jade Dernbach, George Edwards, Dominic Sibley.
Middlesex are still in the hunt for the title despite recent disappointments. They will include Corey Collymore in place of Ireland-bound Corey Collymore as the only likely change to their starting eleven. Adam London and Gurjit Sandhu are both included in a 13-man squad.
Middlesex squad: Chris Rogers (captain), Sam Robson, Joe Denly, Dawid Malan, Neil Dexter, John Simpson, Gareth Berg, Ollie Rayner, James Harris, Ravi Patel, Corey Collymore, Gurjit Sandhu, Adam London.
Essex v Worcestershire at Chelmsford
Third-placed Essex need to keep winning to put pressure on the top two, but will have to do so without Gautam Gambhir, who has returned to India “for personal reasons”. Nick Browne takes his place in the 12-man squad.
Essex squad: Jaik Mickleburgh, Nick Browne, Greg Smith, Owais Shah, Ryan ten Doeschate, Ben Foakes, James Foster (captain), Graham Napier, David Masters, Monty Panesar, Reece Topley, Tymal Mills.
The Pears have named seam-bowler David Lucas in a 12-man squad but are without overseas batsman Thilan Samaraweera after he split the webbing in his hand during the win over Leicestershire. Gareth Andrew is still out due to a back injury.
Worcestershire squad: Daryl Mitchell (captain), Matthew Pardoe, Moeen Ali, Tom Fell, Joe Leach, Ross Whiteley, Michael Johnson, Shaaiq Choudhry, Jack Shantry, Graeme Cessford, Alan Richardson, David Lucas.
Glamorgan v Kent at Cardiff
Two of the Division two stragglers will do battle at Cardiff. Glamorgan welcome back Michael Hogan into a 12-man squad, with Ruaidhri Smith also included and Graham Wagg rested.
Glamorgan squad: Will Bragg, Gareth Rees, Murray Goodwin, Chris Cooke, Ben Wright, Jim Allenby, Mark Wallace (captain), Ruaidhri Smith, Andrew Salter, Dean Cosker, Michael Hogan, Mike Reed.
Gloucestershire v Leicestershire at Bristol
Gloucestershire are all but out of the promotion race and have named Ian Cockbain and Matt Taylor in a 12-man squad.
Gloucestershire squad: Michael Klinger (captain), Chris Dent, Gareth Roderick, Alex Gidman, Hamish Marshall, Benny Howell, Will Gidman, Tom Smith, Craig Miles, Matt Taylor, David Payne, Ian Cockbain.
Leicestershire are the only one of the 18 counties who are yet to win a Championship game this season and they will look to rectify that as they travel to Bristol. Angus Robson, younger brother of Middlesex opener Sam, has been named in a 12-man squad after a strong showing in the second eleven. Rob Taylor and Niall O’Brien are both unavailable due to international commitments, with Ramnaresh Sarwan, Nathan Buck, Anthony Ireland and Robbie Williams all unavailable.
Leicestershire squad: Greg Smith, Angus Robson, Ned Eckersley, Shiv Thakor, Matthew Boyce (captain), Josh Cobb, Ben Raine, James Sykes, Ollie Freckingham, Matthew Hoggard, Alex Wyatt, Tom Wells.
Hampshire v Northamptonshire at Southampton
Hampshire are out of the hunt for promotion and have drafted in recently released Durham seamer Ruel Brathwaite. Also included in the 12-strong party are Matt Coles, Michael Bates and Brad Taylor. Michael Carberry and Danny Briggs are away with England, while James Vince (knee injury) and Chris Wood (rested) are omitted.
Hampshire squad: Jimmy Adams (captain) Michael Roberts, Liam Dawson, Neil McKenzie, Sean Ervine, Adam Wheater, Michael Bates, Matt Coles, James Tomlinson, Brad Taylor, Ruel Brathwaite, David Balcombe.
Northamptonshire will have a new face in their starting line-up as they aim to more or less secure promotion. Former Gloucestershire and Surrey wicket-keeper Jonathan Batty has been registered by the club to cover for the absences of regular glovemen Ben Duckett (injured) and David Murphy (Scotland). Northants had to look outside of the first-class game for their replacement as the loan period for the season has now closed. The club are also hit hard by the absence of key all-rounder David Willey due to a back injury.
Northamptonshire squad: Stephen Peters (captain), James Middlebrook, David Sales, Alex Wakely, Rob Keogh, Steven Crook, Andrew Hall, Trent Copeland, Jonathan Batty, Graeme White, Mohammad Azarullah, Lee Daggett.
Weather Forecast: The fine weather is set to continue with sunshine for most at some point during tomorrow as the cloud breaks up. Temperatures will peak at between 21 and 23 degrees Celsius.
County Cricket News In Brief:
Durham have released seamer Ruel Brathwaite will immediate effect. The 27 year-old has joined Hampshire on trial and could make his debut for them against Northamptonshire.
© Cricket World 2013