The final round of matches in the Specsavers County Championship before the break for the Vitality Blast get started on Saturday when seven of the nine games in this set of fixtures head off on their four day journey.
Both divisions are providing plenty of talking points and with this being the last full round of games prior to The Ashes, those in the mix for spots against Australia have one final chance to impress the selectors ahead of the series.
The big game in the top flight this week comes from Headingley where Yorkshire probably have to beat leaders Somerset in order to keep their title hopes alive. Somerset are in a right ding dong with Essex at the top so they need to keep on picking up results themselves. The aforementioned defending champions will be looking to continue their surge up the table when they play host to Warwickshire at Chelmsford. Hampshire aren’t completely out of the title picture either but they also need to keep winning. Kent are the visitors to the Ageas Bowl this week while Nottinghamshire will look to pick up a hugely needed win when they entertain Surrey at Trent Bridge.
There are five matches in this round of fixtures in the second flight but only three of them get started on Saturday. Lancashire regained top spot last week and they will be out to stay there when they host fourth placed Sussex, who themselves will be eager to win as they sit just one outside the promotion spots. Glamorgan are also in action this week. The side in second will look to keep the cavalry at bay when they entertain Middlesex down in Cardiff while the other match sees Durham facing a Worcestershire side who could be forgiven for thinking more about their Vitality Blast title defence which begins next week.
I’ll go with just the one this week and it follows a side who were good to me last week too in the shape of Durham. It took them a little while to find their stride this term but they are now unbeaten in five matches with three wins and a couple of draws and another victory here would have them right in the promotion shake up when the competition returns after the initial phase of the Vitality Blast.
Worcestershire have had a poor campaign so far. They have been unable to find any consistency with the bat and with Wayne Parnell missing they are without a key player here. Durham are riding the back of a purple patch of Cameron Bancroft and generally when a captain is in excellent form the team follows him. I don’t think Durham have finished their good form yet. I think they have another win in them here.
WON – Back Durham to beat Worcestershire for a 4/10 stake at 2.00 with Coral