Harmison out of Lancashire clash

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Steve Harmison

Steve Harmison has been ruled out of Durham's top-of-the-table clash with Lancashire after he suffered a spinal joint sprain at Warwickshire

Steve Harmison has not been included in Durham’s squad for their top-of-the-table clash with LV= County Championship leaders Lancashire at the Emirates Durham ICG.

The former England paceman suffered a spinal joint sprain in the innings-and-103-run victory against Warwickshire yesterday, when he was unable to bowl in the final two sessions.

The quick turnaround has meant that Harmison has been unable to overcome the problem and he has not been risked.

However, Graham Onions returns after being rested at Edgbaston, while Liam Plunkett is included following his recovery from a torn quad muscle.

Durham will be looking for their third consecutive win, having also claimed an innings victory at Worcestershire, but they come up against a Lancashire side who have won five and drawn one of their opening six championship fixtures.

The Red Rose go into the fixture three points ahead of Durham and captain Glen Chapple is expected to return to duty after sitting out the 10-wicket thrashing of Hampshire inside three days at the Rose Bowl this week.

Nottinghamshire have included Riki Wessels in their squad as they look to end a three-game winless run against rock-bottom Worcestershire at New Road.

The defending champions last tasted victory in the championship against Worcestershire last month at Trent Bridge, but they have drawn with Yorkshire and suffered nine-wicket defeats to Sussex and Warwickshire since then.

Wessels impressed in Wednesday’s Clydesdale Bank 40 victory over Gloucestershire and is named alongside the returning Samit Patel and Darren Pattinson. Ali Brown makes way, and Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann remain on international duty with England.

Adam Voges will make his final four-day appearance of the season against Worcestershire, who have lost all six of their championship fixtures, following the arrival of David Hussey from the Indian Premier League.

Yorkshire will be looking for their first win the championship since the opening game of the season but they will come up against a resurgent Sussex at the PROBIZ County Ground.

Andrew Gale’s men have drawn two and lost four four-day matches following their success against Worcestershire last month, while Sussex will be looking for their third consecutive victory following triumphs against Nottinghamshire and Somerset.

First and second also play each other in Division Two as leaders Northamptonshire face Glamorgan at Wantage Road.

Martin Guptill

New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill is poised to make his debut for Derbyshire after being named in their 13-man squad to face Surrey

Northamptonshire are undefeated in both the County Championship and the Clydesdale Bank 40 but they look set to be without wicketkeeper-batsman Niall O’Brien, who is still recovering from a hairline fracture to his left hand sustained during their CB40 win over Hampshire.

Glamorgan lie just three points behind Northants and they have included seamer James Harris in their squad after he missed their last championship encounter at Surrey with a sore foot.

Graham Wagg and Jim Allenby also return after recovering from a hamstring injury and a side strain respectively.

Ryan ten Doeschate is expected to make his first appearance of the season for Essex against Gloucestershire at Bristol.

The Netherlands all-rounder returns after representing the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL and will replace Graham Napier, who is being rested, while Chris Wright and Maurice Chambers come back in after missing the draw against Middlesex earlier this week.

Gloucestershire will move up to third if they can defeat Essex and should be able to welcome back pace duo Liam Norwell and David Payne, both of whom missed the draw with Leicestershire two weeks ago.

New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill is in line to make his Derbyshire debut against Surrey following the early departure of Usman Khawaja due to Australia A commitments.

Azeem Rafiq’s loan spell from Yorkshire has been ended one game early by a suspected fractured finger, Tim Groenewald is rested, and Steffan Jones, Mark Turner, Ross Whiteley and Paul Borrington are added to the squad.

Kent, who could move off the bottom of the table if they overcome fellow strugglers Leicestershire at Tunbridge Wells, will be buoyed after ending a four-game losing streak in the championship following their draw with Derbyshire.

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