The two leading wicket-takers in LV= County Championship Division One meet at Scarborough on Friday as leaders Yorkshire host Sussex hoping to remain top of the tree.
The White Rose, who hold a five-point advantage over Nottinghamshire in second place, will have Jack Brooks spearheading their attack once again and the former Northamptonshire seamer is just one scalp away from 50 wickets for the season.
That is a landmark which Sussex’s Steve Magoffin has already passed in three successive summers with his county. But, with Brooks just two wickets behind the most potent bowler in the division, the fans at Scarborough could be treated to a real battle of the bowlers.
“They are both fantastic bowlers and hopefully Jack can continue his good form,” Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie, who has named an unchanged team, told his county’s official website.
“He’s worked really hard on his bowling and he’s worked incredibly hard to keep himself nice and fit and strong for this last part of the season.
“He’s excited, as we all are about the challenge and the opportunities the last few games may present.”
Including this game, Yorkshire have just four fixtures remaining as they close in on a title which Nottinghamshire would so desperately love to land too.
Standing in their way over the next four days is a Northamptonshire side boosted by the arrival of New Zealand international bowler Neil Wagner.
Northants are still without a win this season but reversing their fortunes is a challenge Wagner is certainly relishing.
Speaking to Steelback TV ahead of their home fixture with second-placed Nottinghamshire, he said: “I always love coming to England and I’ve had a lot of good times over here.
“I’ve always wanted to play county cricket so I’m really excited to get going. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for quite a long time now so I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead.”
Durham’s team to face Lancashire will have a Celtic feel to it with Ireland’s Peter Chase in line for his first-class debut while Scotland’s Calum MacLeod is included in the 12-man squad for the first time.
Lancashire sit directly below Durham, who are without the influential Graham Onions due to injury, in the table and know they must start winning if they are to avoid an instant relegation back to the second tier.
— Durham Cricket Club (@DurhamCricket) August 14, 2014
“Everyone in our squad realises just how important these games are and we are all aware that the intensity at which we play our cricket has to be spot on in our remaining games,” coach Glen Chapple said on quotes published on the Red Rose’s official website.
“It is not pleasant being in a relegation battle. We have made mistakes this season, there is no doubt about that. Teams do make mistakes. And now we are at a stage where we don’t get second chances.
“But everyone in the squad believes we can get the results we need.”
In the other game in Division One, third-placed Somerset host fourth-placed Warwickshire.
LV= County Championhip facts
*The last 10 visiting teams to win the toss in championship matches at Taunton have elected to bat. Somerset have chosen to field first both times they have won the toss at Taunton this season.
*Northamptonshire have lost nine championship matches this season. They lost 10 games combined in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons.
*Durham have won five, drawn four and lost one of their last 10 championship fixtures against Lancashire.
*Sussex are unbeaten in their last eight away championship matches against Yorkshire, winning four and drawing four.
*Surrey have lost one of their last 18 championship clashes with Leicestershire (won nine and drawn eight).
*In the last 10 years Kent and Hampshire have faced each other 14 times in the championship – 11 of these games have been drawn (one Kent win, two Hampshire victories).
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