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Essex, Surrey and Yorkshire Showing County Championship Credentials

County Ground Chelmsford, Essex
©Reuters

With the next round of County Championship fixtures due to take place on June 9th, we are taking a look at where the counties are positioned for the remainder of the season in Division 1.

Earlier in the season, there were wins for Essex (2), Yorkshire (2) and Surrey (2) , all of which were impressive for different reasons: Essex were always in command (despite a shaky start) against Lancashire at the County Ground, Chelmsford. Yorkshire, with seamer Ben Coad in fine form, were dominant against Nottinghamshire, despite some final morning resistance. Finally, Surrey got the job done with some room to spare against Hampshire, albeit with a spirited ton coming from Sam Northeast to put off the inevitable. However, it is Nottinghamshire that top the County Championship Division 1 table at the moment having won three games so far.

With the wins, those three sides reiterated their credentials as the bookmakers’ favourites to lift win the County Championship this year. As it stands, last year’s winners Essex are the outright leaders in the betting odds, coming in at around 10/3 with major UK bookmakers. Surrey, who once again look like they will put up big batting numbers this season, are the second-favourites at 9/2. Yorkshire, who along with Essex were awarded a draw in the first round due to the atrocious weather, are slightly behind at 5/1. It’s going to be difficult to pick a winner from the trio, so check out how to get £30 Coral free bet promotions for cricket to cover your selection.  

Nottinghamshire and Hampshire also fancied despite early setbacks

The pertinent question, however, is, are these three teams the best sides in County Championship at the moment? On paper, barring Nottinghamshire, most pundits would agree that they are. That’s still a matter of debate, of course, which is evidenced in the fact that some bookmakers have priced Hampshire and Nottinghamshire at 5/1 as well. However, it seems that the bowling of Cook and Porter may keep Essex in around the top of the table this season, as too will the batting from the likes of Ballance, Pope, Foakes and Bresnan in Yorkshire and Surrey’s line ups. 

Lancashire have started in disappointing fashion

Indeed, arguably the biggest disappointment of the, admittedly early, season so far has been last year’s runner-up Lancashire. They were pretty poor against Essex at the County Ground and, although the winning margin was 31 runs, Essex were in control for the vast majority of the play. As a consequence, Lancashire’s odds drifted out to around 13/2. They are three spots from the bottom of the table. 

Surrey and Essex could have explosive clash on last fixture of the season

Speaking of fixtures, it is interesting to see that two betting favourites, Essex and Surrey, meet, in fact, in the final round of the 2018 County Championship season at the Oval. It is obviously only idle speculation at this point, but could we be looking at a potential decider for the title on the final day? If it was the case, it would be great for fans and County Cricket as a whole. 

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