Vitality County Championship 2024 – Friday 17th May Matches Tips and Betting Preview

The Vitality County Championship continues on Friday when the penultimate round of matches prior to the T20 Blast starting get underway up and down the country and with the weather starting to cooperate, the tables are beginning to take shape.

Once again there is no TV coverage of any of these games so if you have a bet on them and want to follow it ball-by-ball then you need to head to YouTube and load up the live stream that the home county produces to see all the action.

Division One

The champions Surrey have made their way back to the top of the table and are already looking like the team to beat. They have a home game this week against a Worcestershire side who are still looking for their first win back in the top flight but the Pears will go in search of victory without Jason Holder who has left now. Essex still sit second in the table and they welcome a winless Warwickshire to Chelmsford this week while Somerset in third spot host Kent. Lancashire are surprisingly propping up the table and things don’t get much easier for them as unbeaten Durham armed with the England captain Ben Stokes in their ranks are the visitors to Blackpool. The other match in the division sees Nottinghamshire hosting Hampshire.


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Division Two

Despite their defeat to Glamorgan last week, Sussex are still on top of the table, and they welcome a winless Yorkshire to Hove for what is probably the pick of the matches in the second division this week. Just one point splits Glamorgan in fourth spot and Middlesex in second place and they meet down in Cardiff while the team in between them in the table, Leicestershire, host a Gloucestershire side who will be buoyed by their first Championship win in well over a year last week. The bottom two meet at Derby as Derbyshire look to come off the foot of the table when they welcome a winless Northamptonshire.

Betting

This season hasn’t really got going for Lancashire yet and I’m not convinced it is going to this week either with Durham having Ben Stokes available to them. There is an argument that he’ll be rusty and will need time at the crease to find his timing and things but he is such a natural cricketer that I expect him to be fine, especially at this level which is already well below his standard. With that in mind I think the even money on Durham to win is a good price.

I’m convinced this Durham side are going to break out at some point and launch some sort of positive campaign and push towards the top of the table and this Lancashire side, who look a batter or two light and probably a back up seamer light, could well be the ones to feast on, especially at Blackpool which should really suit the Durham side. Durham bat deep, even deeper with Stokes on board, and have plenty of bowling options and I like them at even money.

Tips

Back Durham to beat Lancashire for a 3/10 stake at 2.00 with William Hill

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