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Promotion chasers go head-to-head

The two sides leading the hunt for promotion from Division Two of the LV= County Championship face off at Emirates Old Trafford this week as Lancashire play host to Northamptonshire.

Peter Moores’ men pulled off the standout display of the season thus far when dismissing Essex for 20 to secure an innings victory at Chelmsford last week.

The Red Rose still lie 33 points behind Northamptonshire, who played out a rain-affected draw with Leicestershire last time out, although the runaway leaders have played an additional game.

Tom Smith and Stephen Parry will hope to force their way into Lancashire’s team having been named alongside the Chelmsford starting XI in a 13-man squad, while Northants could give a run out to loanee Graeme White should conditions in Manchester prove spin-friendly.

The table-toppers may no longer have Trent Copeland around, but in David Willey, pictured right, and Steven Crook they still boast two of the leading wicket-takers in the division. Both seamers have claimed 29 scalps, the same number as Lancashire skipper Glen Chapple.

Glamorgan have announced an unchanged 12-man party for their game against Worcestershire at New Road.

The Welsh side have only recorded one four-day victory this summer, at home to Worcestershire in mid-April.

There are also two Yorkshire Bank 40 fixtures taking place tomorrow, at Headingley and Derby.

In Group C, fifth-placed Middlesex Panthers will look to close on leaders Somerset by beating a Yorkshire Vikings side whose own qualification hopes have evaporated.

Middlesex are without Chris Rogers, who has linked up with Australia’s Ashes squad, and side injury victim James Harris.

Sam Robson has been included in a 13-man squad as a potential replacement for his four-day opening partner, while Tom Helm and Josh Davey could also feature. Adam Voges’ Middlesex debut will come on Sunday against the Unicorns.

Yorkshire will once again put their faith in youth, with 15-year-old seamer Matthew Fisher set for his second start after becoming the youngest post-war county cricketer earlier this month.

Derbyshire Falcons are unchanged for the visit of winless Scottish Saltires and will be desperate to secure two points as they bid to retain a realistic chance of reaching the semi-finals.

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