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Durham forced into reshuffle

Durham will have a much-changed side as they bid to take over at the top of the LV= County Championship.

Paul Collingwood’s men moved to within 5.5 points of leaders Yorkshire, who are not in action this week, with victory at Scarborough last time out and can pull clear by beating third-placed Sussex at the Emirates Durham ICG.

However, young pacemen Mark Wood and Jamie Harrison have been ruled out with respective ankle and side injuries, while Ben Stokes is unavailable due to his involvement with England’s one-day international team.

Thankfully for Durham, attack leader Graham Onions is fit again after recovering from a broken finger and Mitchell Claydon has been recalled from his loan spell at Kent.

Veteran off-spinning all-rounder Gareth Breese has also been named in a 13-man squad, together with rookie paceman Josh Bousfield, 19.

Sussex, 23.5 points behind Durham, still retain title hopes of their own but will know they cannot afford to lose in the north east.

Chris Jordan and Luke Wright are also with England and therefore unavailable for selection, together with Ireland's Ed Joyce and Scotland's Matt Machan.

Joe Gatting and Harry Finch could feature for Sussex, with the latter in line for his first-class debut.

Taunton plays host to a potentially pivotal fixture at the other end of the table, Somerset taking on fellow strugglers Derbyshire.

Somerset climbed out of the relegation places with an innings victory over Middlesex last week, but are still only 17 points clear of Derbyshire, whose defeat to Surrey saw them return to the foot of Division One.

Karl Krikken welcomes back seamer Tim Groenewald to an otherwise unchanged Derbyshire squad still missing the injured Dan Redfern, Mark Turner and Jonathan Clare. Groenewald missed the Surrey match due to the birth of his first child.

Surrey welcome back Stuart Meaker and Jade Dernbach, but rest Chris Tremlett for their home match against London rivals Middlesex, while Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire meet at Trent Bridge with the hosts having slipped towards danger in recent weeks.

The Bears are boosted by Chris Woakes' availability and have also recalled Steffan Piolet from a loan at Sussex to boost their depleted squad.

Jonathan Batty will keep wicket for Northamptonshire when the Division Two promotion-chasers take on Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.

Northants could also include returning loanee Graeme White, while Hampshire, missing the injured James Vince, rested Chris Wood and England internationals Michael Carberry and Danny Briggs, have the option of handing a debut to trialist Ruel Brathwaite. The seamer has been released by Durham.

Leaders Lancashire have a week off, while Northants’ closest rivals for second spot face off at Chelmsford. Third-placed Essex will be without Gautam Gambhir, who has returned to India for family reasons, when they take on fourth-placed Worcestershire. Nick Browne comes in as Gambhir's replacement, while David Masters is fit again following a neck spasm.

The other games in Division Two concern sides with little but pride to play for.

Glamorgan welcome Kent to the SWALEC Stadium and Leicestershire will look to secure their first win of the season as they travel to Bristol to face Gloucestershire.

All remaining LV= County Championship matches are scheduled to start at 10:30am.

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