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Middlesex missing mighty Murtagh


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Division One leaders Middlesex are without the LV= County Championship’s run-away leading wicket-taker, Tim Murtagh, for their game at third-placed Durham.

Murtagh, who has claimed 30 wickets in five championship matches this year - six more than anyone else, is like county team-mate Paul Stirling on international duty with Ireland, who play two one-day internationals versus Pakistan this week.

Corey Collymore is set to take Murtagh’s place while Middlesex are also missing fellow seamer Steven Finn, who is with England, and batsman Eoin Morgan, who is at the Indian Premier League. Adam Rossington and Tom Helm travel as batting and bowling cover respectively.

Durham welcome back Graham Onions from England Lions representation while Keaton Jennings and Michael Richardson come into the squad for Chris Rushworth and Ryan Buckley. Dale Benkenstein is out for the next few months with a shoulder injury that he will undergo surgery on this week.

The fixture at the Emirates Durham ICG is one of four in the championship starting tomorrow, with the other Division One contest between fourth-placed Sussex and Somerset, in seventh, at Horsham.

Tim Murtagh

Middlesex's Tim Murtagh has claimed 30 wickets in five LV= County Championship games this year, making him the competition's leading wicket-taker

Each team is missing a player to England and Ireland duty: for Sussex, Matt Prior and skipper Ed Joyce while for Somerset Nick Compton and George Dockrell.

Chris Nash leads a Sussex side set to include England all-rounder Luke Wright, who has returned from the IPL. Matt Machan is available to the hosts following Scotland duty but Andy Miller has a hand injury.

Essex welcome Netherlands all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate back from the IPL for his county season debut in their Division Two meeting with Kent at Chelmsford.

The second-placed hosts are without England captain Alastair Cook and the injured Greg Smith, who may need surgery on his hip.

Head coach Paul Grayson said: "He's had the problem for about six weeks, which we have been trying to manage but he's not right. We will have more news on his condition in the next week or so after he's seen a specialist."

Bottom side Kent have named an unchanged squad after last week’s two-day defeat to Worcestershire.

Fourth-placed Gloucestershire will give a championship debut to wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick in their match at New Road with sixth-sitting Worcestershire, who have named the squad that thrashed Kent.

Roderick played last week against Cambridge MCCU and will continue to deputise for Cameron Herring, who was ruled out of contention after being ill.

Gloucestershire captain Michael Klinger said: "Cameron trained lightly today, but he is not 100 per cent and it's not worth the risk playing him at Worcester. Gareth did well against Cambridge and deserves his opportunity."

Gloucestershire have included two spinners, Ed Young and Jack Taylor, in a squad featuring Ian Cockbain as cover for Alex Gidman, who is expected to recover from a shoulder knock to play.

Gloucestershire will again be without all-rounder Will Gidman, who is not quite ready to return from an ankle injury, while fellow seamer Ian Saxelby has been given more time to regain full fitness after his shoulder problem.

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