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Prince targets Notts scalp

Ashwell Prince is hopeful that Lancashire can kick-start their bid for LV= County Championship survival with victory over Nottinghamshire this week.

The Red Rose currently lie second bottom in the Division One table, 13 points behind Durham as they battle to avoid an instant return to the second tier.

Lancashire’s only two wins to date have both come against rock-bottom Northamptonshire, who also came up from Division Two and sit a full 65 points adrift of Glen Chapple’s side.

But Prince knows that the county will need to start taking their superb NatWest T20 Blast form – where they top the North Group and have already booked their quarter-final spot – into four-day cricket quickly.

He told ecb.co.uk: “We’ve had some good form in the Twenty20 but we’ve not quite had the results in the championship. I feel we need a win, sooner rather than later.

“It’s a big game coming up against Notts. We went close in the first game of the season against them, chasing a score of around 350. We fell about 30 or 40 or so short. It was a good game but this one is obviously going to be an important game as well.”

The tussle with Notts, who will be eyeing a return to the top of the table with Yorkshire not in action until next weekend, will take place at Liverpool and Prince believes the location will help ensure a positive result.

He added: “We’ve played quite a bit of cricket at Liverpool in the past few years. It’s always a ground that produces a result so hopefully it will be the same this time and hopefully we’ll be on the end of a positive result.”

The game at Liverpool is Australian seamer Peter Siddle's last for Nottinghamshire. 

Durham will be hoping to pull away from Lancashire as they host Warwickshire. The reigning champions have still lost just once this season, but their inability to turn draws into wins has seen them struggling at the foot of the table.

Graham Onions could make his return to the Durham side as the reigning champions host Warwickshire in the LV= County Championship

Head coach Jon Lewis told Durham's website: “We have been a tough side to beat. I'd like us to win a couple more to be honest.

“What we need to do is get ourselves into the winning positions because when we do we're actually quite good, we're ruthless when we get into a winning position.”

Graham Onions is named in an unchanged squad as he nears a return to action following a two-month absence with a back injury.

In Division Two, Saeed Ajmal is looking to end his spell at Worcestershire in style.

Ajmal has helped the county to the top of the second-tier table with 56 wickets in eight appearances, and will hope to leave them there when he departs for international duty following the game against Leicestershire at New Road.

The 36-year-old told Worcestershire's website: "I have one more game, we need to win that game as well, and then I will go back happy.

"I will go back happy with Worcestershire top of the table and join the Pakistan team for the Sri Lanka tour.”

Spinner Shaaiq Choudhry replaces Moeen Ali in the only change to the squad that was named to face Glamorgan in Worcestershire's last red-ball outing.

Leicestershire remain without the injured Ramnaresh Sarwan, with James Sykes and Matthew Boyce added to the 11 who played against Kent to make up the travelling party.

Hampshire are four points behind Worcestershire in the standings and they begin a clash with Essex at Colchester tomorrow.

But the visitors will be without Kyle Abbott, who returned to South Africa having been named in their Test squad, while David Balcombe misses out with injury. Liam Dawson and new signing Nathan Rimmington have been named in the 12-man squad.

Essex are likely to be without injured duo David Masters and Reece Topley for the encounter.

LV= County Championship facts

* Durham are unbeaten in their last nine home championship matches against Warwickshire, winning seven and drawing two. 

* Nottinghamshire have lost one of their last 11 championship games against Lancashire, winning five and drawing five.

* Hampshire’s 470-run win against Essex last month was the joint-second highest run-margin victory in the County Championship.

* Leicestershire have not won any of their last 28 away championship matches. Their last victory on the road was at Northamptonshire, in their final match of the 2010 season.

* Three players have scored 500+ championship runs and taken at least 75 wickets since the start of last season: Will Gidman, Glen Chapple and Jeetan Patel.

* Nick Browne last week became the first Essex player to hit two unbeaten centuries in a championship match.

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