County Cricket Round-Up - 4th July
There are no matches in the Friends Life t20 today as the competition takes a breather ahead of its exciting run-in. Instead, we look ahead to tomorrow’s games as well as rounding up the rest of the day’s county news.
Tomorrow’s FLt20 Fixtures: (start times in brackets, GMT)
North Group, Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire at Trent Bridge (1800)
The top two teams in the North Group face off at Trent Bridge this evening, both knowing that a win will virtually guarantee them a quarter-final spot. Nottinghamshire are hopeful that Alex Hales will have recovered from a quad strain to take his place in the strating eleven, while Samit Patel is expected to be made available by the ECB.
Nottinghamshire squad: Michael Lumb, Alex Hales, Riki Wessels, Samit Patel, James Taylor, Adam Voges (captain), Chris Read (wicket-keeper), Steven Mullaney, Darren Pattinson, Harry Gurney, Andy Carter, Scott Elstone, Graeme White.
Azeem Rafiq will continue to lead Yorkshrie in the absence of Andrew Gale, who has a hip injury. Ryan Sidebottom also still out with a calf injury. However, in brighter news, Jonny Bairstow has been released to play by the England management.
Yorkshire squad: Adam Lyth, Phil Jaques, Joe Root, David Miller, Jonny Bairstow (wicket-keeper), Gary Ballance, Richard Pyrah, Azeem Rafiq (captain), Mitchell Starc, Steve Patterson, Moin Ashraf, Adil Rashid, Iain Wardlaw.
Mid/West/Wales Group, Gloucestershire v Worcestershire at Bristol (1630)
This is a must-win game for the home side who should be able to call upon the services of newly-signed overseas recruit Ed Cowan.
Possible Gloucestershire XI: Hamish Marshall (captain), Ed Cowan, Benny Howell, Ian Cockbain, Alex Gidman, James Fuller, Ed Young, Jonathan Batty (wicket-keeper), Ian Sexelby, Muttiah Muralitharan, Liam Norwell.
Worcestershire, meanwhile, are one of the surprise success stories of the Midlands/West/Wales Group so far and sit top, ahead of more fancied sides like Somerset and Warwickshire. They are likely to be unchanged as they look for their fifth win of the competition.
Possible Worcestershire XI: Moeen Ali, Vikram Solanki, Phil Hughes, Gareth Andrew, James Cameron, Daryl Mitchell (captain), Alexei Kervezee, Brett D'Oliveira, Ben Scott (wicket-keeper), David Lucas, Jack Shantry.
South Group, Essex v Middlesex at Chelmsford (1800)
Essex are hopeful that Owais Shah will be fit again after his calf strain and have named him in a 13-man squad. Tymal Mills is also included.
Essex squad: Mark Pettini, James Franklin, Owais Shah, Ryan ten Doeschate, James Foster (captain, wicket-keeper), Greg Smith, Graham Napier, Adam Wheater, Tim Phillips, David Masters, Reece Topley, Tymal Mills, Tom Westley.
Middlesex will be without Tim Murtagh and Paul Stirling, who are away with Ireland, and will hope to salvage some pride from what has been a disappointing tournament for them.
Middlesex squad: Joe Denly, Dawid Malan, Adam Rossington, Neil Dexter (captain), Gareth Berg, John Simpson (wicket-keeper), Tom Scollay, Ollie Rayner, Steven Crook, Toby Roland-Jones, Tom Smith, Ollie Wilkin.
South Group, Surrey v Kent at The Oval (1740)
Surrey, after a promising start, are bottom of the South Group after enduring a difficult time off the pitch. They are very unlikely to make the quarter-final stage and may choose to rest some key players.
Possible Surrey XI: Steven Davies (wicket-keeper), Jason Roy, Kevin Pietersen, Zander de Bruyn, Rory Burns, Matthew Spriegel, Zafar Ansarai, Gareth Batty (captain), Murali Kartik, Stuart Meaker, Dirk Nannes.
Kent are almost certain to be unchanged and must win to have any chance of qualification. They have reported no new injury concerns following Rob Key's recovery from a neck injury and should still be able to play James Tredwell, despite his call-up by England.
Possible Kent XI: Sam Billings, Sam Northeast, Rob Key (captain), Darren Stevens, Brendan Nash, Geraint Jones, (wicket-keeper), Matt Coles, Adam Ball, James Tredwellm Simon Cook, Mark Davies.
Weather Forecast: All of tomorrow’s matches should at least see some play, providing the ground isn’t too waterlogged from the recent wet weather. Central and eastern England will see the best of the sunshine and drier weather, although there will be fairly regular showers. Temperatures will peak at between 20 and 22 degrees Celsius.
County News In Brief:
Mitchell Starc will be released by Australia should Yorkshire qualify for the quarter-finals of the Friends Life t20. He had been due to join the Australia A squad ahead of their series in England. Meanwhile, David Miller has likewise been made available by South Africa, despite the fixture clashing with his country’s A tour of Ireland.
Worcestershire bowling spearhead Alan Richardson is expected to make his first-team return from shoulder injury against Durham next Tuesday. He made a successful comeback for the second team against Nottinghamshire’s seconds earlier this week.
Glamorgan CCC chief executive Alam Hamer has called for the ECB to consider spacing out Friends Life t20 matches in the future so that they are less likely to be affected by the weather.
Yorkshire have made fast-bowler Oliver Hannon-Dalby available on loan to any county interested. He has a year left on his existing contract at Headingley.
More than 1000 mourners have attended the funeral of former Surrey cricketer Tom Maynard at Llandaff Cathedral today. Among those present were Andrew Flintoff, Andrew Strauss and Glamorgan captain Mark Wallace.
Australian opener Ed Cowan could make his Gloucestershire debut as early as tomorrow according to the Gloucester Citizen. The Gladiators play Worcestershire in a Friends Life t20 match at Bristol.
Veteran Surrey batsman Mark Ramprakash is set to announbce his retirement from county cricket tomorrow.
© Cricket World 2012
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