Title hopefuls set for Edgbaston clash
Title challengers Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire will battle it out in Division One of the LV= County Championship at Edgbaston from tomorrow.
Twenty-seven points separate the sides, with Warwickshire sitting top of the pile and their opponents two places lower.
Victory for Notts, who are set to welcome back Andre Adams, would certainly close the gap at a crucial time given the sides only have two fixtures remaining after their meeting. They face off again in the last round.
Play is due to begin at noon on day one due to Warwickshire’s Clydesdale Bank 40 game with Yorkshire at Scarborough today.
At the other end of the table relegation-threatened Lancashire tackle in-form Durham, who have won their last four championship encounters, at Aigburth. Durham are without Mark Wood due to a side problem.
The Red Rose, second from bottom, will be aiming to overhaul Surrey, who sit a spot higher having claimed an extra 15 points.
Surrey, bolstered by having Kevin Pietersen available, could move further ahead with victory over Somerset at Taunton.
Pietersen struck a sparkling unbeaten double-century against Lancashire on his last championship outing and his return to the four-day fold will be a major boost.
Skipper Marcus Trescothick - who has to manage his workload after missing much of the season through an ankle injury - should be available for Somerset after being deemed fit enough to play in the rain-affected CB40 match between the teams today.
In the top-flight’s other game, bottom-of-the-table Worcestershire will take on Middlesex at New Road.
Worcestershire have left out Vikram Solanki and Ben Scott, recalling Alexei Kervezee and Ben Cox. The visitors are without England Test captain Andrew Strauss, who was due to play in the match but has been given an extra week of rest.
Division Two leaders Derbyshire can all but secure promotion with victory over Essex at Derby.
With second-placed Hampshire - who have played a game more - not in action this week, Derbyshire could be 41 points clear by the end of these matches.
Essex have injury concerns over David Masters, Graham Napier and Adam Wheater. They are without Harbhajan Singh, who has linked up with India's Twenty20 squad.
Third-placed Yorkshire can overtake Hampshire by beating Gloucestershire at Scarborough.
The White Rose will be without Richard Pyrah, who has suffered the reoccurrence of a hand injury in today’s CB40 encounter. He will be assessed in Leeds on Wednesday.
Gloucestershire have included Middlesex’s Anthony Ireland, who is on loan at his old club for the rest of the season, in their squad but are missing Chris Dent, who has dislocated a shoulder and will miss the rest of the season.
Kent - who like Yorkshire have a game in hand on Hampshire - are also in promotion contention. They face Leicestershire at Grace Road with a noon start tomorrow.
Glamorgan will aim to move off the foot of the table when they host Northamptonshire at the SWALEC Stadium.