Around the Grounds: LV=CC Week 4 Preview

Sunday 3rd May 2015
& News
Written by Danny Painter

Derbyshire continue their LV= County Championship campaign this weekend against Glamorgan at Cardiff – we take a look around the grounds at this week’s Division Two fixtures.

Essex v Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire have not won a Championship match at Chelmsford since 1930, and will arrive as rank outsiders against an Essex team who remain on a roll despite being denied the chance to press for a seventh consecutive win by a washout of the last day of their game against Surrey at the Kia Oval.

They are still missing Tom Westley with a broken thumb, as well as Ravi Bopara at the Indian Premier League, but Nick Browne and Daniel Lawrence shone in Kennington in their absence, Lawrence becoming the third youngest player in history to score a Championship century.

Gloucestershire name an unchanged squad with Gareth Roderick, their Durban-born wicketkeeper, aiming to extend a run of making a half century in each of his four innings this season.

Glamorgan v Derbyshire

Scott Elstone, fresh from a century for the Second XI at The 3aaa County Ground this week, and David Wainwright have been added to the squad that beat Gloucestershire last week to replace Martin Guptill and Wes Durston who have both been ruled out through injury. Billy Godleman is suspended and will also miss the fixture.

Mark Footitt will be looking to continue his good form after he claimed nine wickets against Gloucestershire, including 6-94 in the second innings. The same goes for youngsters Shiv Thakor (83) and Harvey Hosein (61) who both scored their maiden first-class half-centuries for Derbyshire in the seven-wicket win at Bristol.

Glamorgan are boosted by the availability for the first time this season of Michael Hogan, the tall Australian seamer who has given them such good service over the last two summers. Andrew Salter is also added to a squad that includes the former Derbyshire seamer Graham Wagg.

Kent v Leicestershire

Kent currently prop up the Division Two table having taken only seven points from defeats by Essex and Lancashire in their first two games. They will see the visit of Leicestershire, against whom they have a 10-match unbeaten run stretching back to 2003, as the perfect chance to win their first home game of the season for the first time since 2007.

Darren Stevens generally relishes playing against his home county, having played for them for eight seasons before joining Kent in 2005. Leicestershire are again without Atif Sheikh, the left-arm seamer who injured his shoulder in their opening draw against Glamorgan, and may consider one or more of several players who have impressed for the second team, including Matthew Boyce and Jigar Naik.

Northamptonshire v Lancashire

Lancashire have won four consecutive Championship matches against Northants, two in 2013 when the counties were promoted together from Division Two, and two last year when they both went straight back down.

They have also started the season with two consecutive wins under their new coach Ashley Giles, despite losing their new captain Tom Smith with a back injury.

He will again be missing this week, so Steven Croft continues as skipper. Nathan Buck, the seamer signed from Leicestershire who has yet to make his Red Rose debut, is again included in a 12-man squad.

Northants could displace them from the top with a victory, having drawn their first game against Gloucestershire then beating Leicestershire at Grace Road. But they will have to do so without David Willey, who is given a break to prepare for a possible England debut in next Friday’s one-day international against Ireland in Dublin. He is likely to be replaced by the former Lancashire all-rounder Steven Crook.

Photography: David Griffin

Derbyshire are back in action on Sunday when they travel to Cardiff to face Glamorgan for the start of the LV= County Championship fixture. The next fixture back at The 3aaa County Ground begins on Sunday 10 May when Derbyshire entertain Northamptonshire. You can save £4 per adult ticket by purchasing in advance of the game. Click here to purchase>>

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