Channel: Sky Sports Cricket
Time: 10.25am (BST)
Match: Warwickshire v Essex
Check out the top five talking points as the Sky Sports cameras turn their attentions to Edgbaston where Essex travel in the hope of wrapping up the Championship title...
It's been a difficult baptism of fire for Tom Westley this summer with England, making just a single score above 50 in his five Test matches. While he's looked good at the crease in Engand whites, he'll be aware a good performance in front of the Sky cameras for his boyhood team Essex would do his chances of going to the Ashes a lot of good. Having scored almost 500 runs in Division One this season, at a 53.01 average, Westley will feel confident of adding to his two 2017 centuries and showing why he should be on the plane to Australia.
Trying to make life difficult for Westley will be England team-mate Chris Woakes, also released to play this round of Championship matches, who's looking to reclaim the form that made him so dangerous with the ball ealrier this season before injury put him on the sidelines. The all-rounder's influence will probably not be enough to prevent relegation to Division Two, however, if he can replicate his only other Championship showing this season, when he took five wickets at an average of 19, then it'll go a long way to holding up the Essex party.
Warwickshire really are in a tricky spot. Bottom of the division, 30 points adrift of seventh-placed Somerset who they lost to last round, they need a small miracle to stay up. The match against Essex is, in reality, a must-win for the Bears. Victory here followed by a beating of fellow candidates for the drop, Yorkshire, the week after could pull in some of those teams on the periphery of the relegation places, and make it a mighty nervy final round of matches.
We've got our abacus out so you don't have to and worked out the possible ways for Essex to wrap up the Championship title. Get comfy, you'll need to concentrate:
- Essex need to extend their 36-point lead to 49 to be assured of the Championship. Points are accrued by winning (16pts), drawing (5pts) and bonus points in the first 110 overs of the first innings (5pts batting 400+ runs & 3pts bowling 9+ wickets).
- So a maximum bonus point draw for Essex would be enough if rivals Lancashire lose without gaining a point themselves.
- Essex take the title if they beat Warwickshire with maximum bonus points and Lancashire only achieve 11 points
- If rivals Lancashire beat Somerset then the title fight goes down to the next round no matter what
- A draw at Edgbaston will also take the title chase to the next round of matches
- All the above depends on bonus points, so let's avoid the headache for a few days until the first innings is over with and the outcome is a little easier to understand
Just two bowlers have taken over 50 wickets in Division One. Both of them are playing in this match. Both of them are playing for Essex. In the battle to finish top wicket-taker, Simon Harmer (55) and Jamie Porter (57) will see this match - against a Warwickshire side that have been bowled out in all but one innings they've completed this season (they declared eight down in a second innings dig in a draw with Surrey) - as an opportunity to add to their tallies.