We are heading towards the start of the international and white ball summer in the UK but there is still some LV= County Championship action before we get there. The latest round of matches began on Wednesday but the bulk of the games begin on Thursday.
As with the last couple of weeks, we have a televised match to enjoy this week although just like last week it has to be said the forecast is anything but pretty throughout the four days so just how many results there will be remains to be seen.
The pick of the groups so far is Group 1 where going into the week just nine points separates the top five and with all the teams in action this is a big week for everyone. Essex made their way back to the top of the group last week and they will look to stay there when they take on a Warwickshire that is full of England talent. Nottinghamshire have propelled themselves up to second place and they welcome fourth placed Worcestershire to Trent Bridge. The other match comes from Derby where bottom of the pile Derbyshire are involved in a must win clash with Durham.
The action actually started in this group on Wednesday when Hampshire set about closing the gap on the top two when they got going against Leicestershire. There are two remaining matches this week and the pick of them sees the top two colliding in a local derby at Bristol as the leaders Gloucestershire look to pull clear of Somerset who will be their opponents for this match. Just four points separates them going into the week but the home side do have a game in hand. The TV action comes from this ground as well and is the London Derby from The Oval where Surrey play host to Middlesex.
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There are two matches in Group 3 this week as well. Yorkshire and Lancashire lead the way ahead of the first Roses clash of the season next week but Yorkshire don’t play in this round of games so Lancashire have the chance to take top spot when they make the trip south to take on Northamptonshire. The other match in this group sees Glamorgan looking to keep up their decent run when they make the trip to Canterbury to take on a Kent side who just haven’t got going in four-day cricket this term.
As I eluded to above, I’m not sure this is a week where we will see too much in the way of results but if there is a chance of one anywhere it could be at Canterbury where I fancy Glamorgan can see off Kent for the second time this season. It should be said that since Glamorgan beat Kent by 10 wickets a few weeks ago a few key Kent batsmen have found form. They will also have Sam Billings back to lead the side here but remain without Joe Denly and Heino Kuhn among others.
Glamorgan impressed me last week and they have quietly made their way up to third place in the Group 3 table despite Marnus Labaschagne yet to really make an impression on the season. You would expect that to change sooner rather than later but with Michael Neser now over and adding further quality to a decent bowling attack anyway and a couple of batsmen in decent nick, should Labaschagne come good here Glamorgan will be in a good position. To be fair to Kent, the acquisition of Matt Quinn is a good one but even with him in the ranks I still prefer the Glammy attack and at odds against they are the pick for me.
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