Three games in each division start on Monday and there’s plenty to look forward to…
Essex v Warwickshire
Top versus bottom, although Essex suffered a blow on Friday with defeat by Notts Outlaws in Royal London One-Day Cup semi final. They will be forced to make at least two changes to the team that beat Surrey at Guildford last week with Dan Lawrence and Jamie Porter joining the England Lions for a four-day game against South Africa A starting in Canterbury on Wednesday. Warwickshire have Jeetan Patel back after his Champions Trophy commitments with New Zealand.
Lancashire v Hampshire
Lancashire climbed to fourth by beating Middlesex at Southport last week, and are boosted by the return to their squad after injury of Kyle Jarvis and Jimmy Anderson. But they have lost Liam Livingstone to England’s T20 squad, and Haseeb Hameed to the Lions. Hampshire have James Vince back after he missed their last Championship game on Lions duty, but have lost spinners Liam Dawson and Mason Crane to the England T20 series.
Middlesex v Yorkshire
Adil Rashid returns for Yorkshire as they aim for a third consecutive win, on the ground where their hopes of a third consecutive title were ended in dramatic fashion last September. Harry Brook, a teenage opener who has been excelling for their second-team, is also added to the squad. Middlesex’s long unbeaten Championship run ended against Lancashire last week, and they have lost Dawid Malan to England’s T20 squad and Tom Helm and Nick Gubbins to the Lions, but Steven Finn is available again after the Champions Trophy.
Durham v Glamorgan
Glamorgan made the long trip to the north-east today in good spirits, after consecutive Championship wins under their new captain Michael Hogan – the first of them against Durham in Swansea. But they have lost seamer Timm van der Gugten to Holland duty. Durham, still looking for their first win of the season and to move into credit after starting the season with a 48-point deduction, have to replace Keaton Jennings who will be leading the Lions in Canterbury.
Nottinghamshire v Leicestershire
Notts are cock-a-hoop after reaching the Royal London One-Day Cup Final with a dramatic victory at Essex on Friday, as well as riding high at the top of the Division Two table, and aiming for a double after a convincing win in Leicester in April. They have their full-strength seam attack available again with Jake Ball back in contention alongside Stuart Broad and James Pattinson, leaving Alex Hales as their only senior absentee. Leicestershire are still looking for a first win of the season after squandering a strong position against Sussex last week, but are boosted by the return to contention of Richard Jones and Neil Dexter.
Worcestershire v Kent
A big game between third and second, although both teams have stumbled in recent matches – Kent flirting with a first defeat of the season against Durham last week, and Worcestershire suffering three on the trot – two in the Championship, and Saturday’s Royal London One-Day Cup semi final against Surrey. But they have Moeen Ali available again, whereas Kent are still missing Sam Billings – although Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah makes the second appearance of his brief mid-season stint.