Specsavers County Championship, Sunday, May 15, 2016 | Live cricket | ESPNcricinfo.com

Specsavers County Championship, Sunday, May 15, 2016

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    • Championship previews

    Essex v Derbyshire, Division Two, Chelmsford
    A first Championship game without Alastair Cook this season for Essex, who remain 10 points clear at the top despite missing out on the last round of matches. Cook is the leading Division Two runscorer with 523, but Tom Westley is not far behind with 432 from six innings – he has also been mentioned as a possible England contender later in the summer, and has set himself the ambitious target of making 1,000 first-class runs before the end of May.
    Jaik Mickleburgh is set to replace Cook at the top of the order alongside Nick Browne, and Derbyshire will be led by the former Essex opener Billy Godleman. Their form man, Chesney Hughes, squeezes between Cook and Westley in the Division Two scoring chart with 466 – but their 2012 win at Chelmsford was a lone success in 37 Championship matches in Essex stretching back to 1962.
    • Championship previews

    Northamptonshire v Kent, Division Two, Northampton
    Kent are still without the suspended Matt Coles, but both he and Sam Billings, who has been starring at IPL, are expected back for their home opener in the NatWest T20 Blast against Somerset next Friday.
    They have not lost for seven Championship games, stretching back to an innings defeat by Northants at Canterbury last August, when Ben Duckett scored a big century for the visitors. Kent had also been heavily beaten at Wantage Road in June, meaning that two of Northants’ three Championship wins all season were against them.
    But whereas Northants have made a slow start this year, Kent have been going well and went close to a second consecutive win against Gloucestershire last week.
    • Championship previews


    Gloucestershire v Glamorgan, Division Two, Bristol
    Glamorgan cross the Severn Bridge to Bristol at the bottom of the pile and having been in all sorts of trouble in their last match at 42 for 4 in reply to Worcestershire’s 456-6 declared before the rain intervened.
    South African opener Colin Ingram is still out with a knee injury, but offspinner Andrew Salter and Harry Podmore, the seamer on an extended loan from Middlesex, could be considered. Gloucestershire, who are also looking for a first win of the season, are still missing Will Tavare and Liam Norwell, but Benny Howell could return. Chris Dent, who has started the season in good form, scored a career-best 268 in the equivalent fixture at the end of last summer.
    • Championship previews

    Worcestershire v Sussex, Division Two, Worcester
    A first meeting this season of the two teams relegated from Division One in 2015, with both looking for a first win of the year to start closing the gap on leaders Essex. Both were well-placed in the last round only to be frustrated by the weather.
    Worcestershire have lost Moeen Ali to England but have one of the form batsmen in the country in Brett D’Oliveira, fresh from his double century against Glamorgan in Cardiff.
    Sussex are still missing Chris Jordan at IPL and their captain Luke Wright, who is hoping to make his first appearance of the season in next Friday’s Blast match at Gloucestershire.
    But they have a dominant recent Championship record against Worcestershire including a double last season, the victory at New Road in September coming by an innings with outstanding contributions by Jordan and Wright.
    • Championship previews

    Durham v Lancashire, Division One, Emirates Riverside
    Lancashire have proved gamey opposition on their return to Division One under the supervision of Ashley Giles.
    Jimmy Anderson returns to England with Lancashire well-placed, one point behind Yorkshire having played a game fewer, and with Jos Buttler due back soon from IPL. Tom Bailey is set to replace Anderson with Saqib Mahmood joining his fellow England Under-19 international Haseeb Hameed in the squad.
    Durham must replace Ben Stokes, and Mark Wood is still missing, but they had the upper hand in the last of their three consecutive draws, against Surrey at the Kia Oval, with centuries from Paul Collingwood – who turns 40 later this month – and Jack Burnham, 20 years his junior.
    It has been a solid start from a county who many sensed might be in relegation danger. Lancashire have only won once in seven Championship games at Durham, in 2012 when Luke Procter, the allrounder who made a career best with the bat against Hampshire earlier this week, took five for 17.
    • Championship previews

    Nottinghamshire v Warwickshire, Division One, Trent Bridge
    Notts are forced to make three changes from the team who lost the Division One leadership in a rain-ruined draw at Lord’s, with Alex Hales, Stuart Broad and Jake Ball all linking up with England. Aussie seamer Jackson Bird is set to return and they have recalled Luke Fletcher from a loan spell with Derbyshire.
    Warwickshire hope that Ian Bell will have recovered from the hamstring injury he suffered in last week’s home draw against Somerset, to lead them on a ground where he played a masterful innings on a spiteful pitch to set up a win in 2014. Chris Woakes would take over as captain if Bell is ruled out.
    • Championship previews

    Somerset v Yorkshire, Division One, Taunton
    Andrew Gale is expected to make light of a bruised knee to lead Yorkshire at a ground where they have not won in six Championship visits since 2008. He would have liked more than a one-point lead at the top after a period when all Yorkshire's England players have been available, but a last-gasp win against Surrey at Headingley has calmed a few misgivings.
    Yorkshire have recalled Jack Leaning, the Cricket Writers’ Club Young Player of the Year in 2015, to replace Joe Root in the middle order, and Andrew Hodd will take over as wicketkeeper from Jonny Bairstow, while Karl Carver joins Rashid as a second spin option with David Willey expected to out for six weeks, and Matt Fisher still missing with hamstring problems.
    Somerset add Tim Groenewald and Johannes Myburgh to the 11 who had gained the upper hand against Warwickshire on an uneven Edgbaston pitch that was later reported.
    • Championship previews

    Surrey v Middlesex, Division One, Kia Oval
    Peter May, the former Surrey and England captain and the country’s greatest post-war batsman, will be honoured at the Kia Oval on Sunday. The Peter May Stand, situated between the pavilion and the gasometers on the east side of the ground, will be officially opened by his wife, Virginia, before the start of play.
    The new stand will provide 1,500 more seats, increasing the Oval’s capacity to almost 26,000. It will also feature a roof garden which will be available for Surrey members at all county matches, including Twenty20.
    May, who died in 1994 at the age of 64, played for Surrey from 1950 until 1963, captaining them to the last two of their seven consecutive Championships between 1952 and 1958. He also captained England in 41 Tests, winning 20 of them and losing only 10, became president of MCC and chairman of the Test selectors but he is best remembered as a classical, upright batsman who scored 27,592 first-class runs at an average of 51.
    It will be the first Surrey-Middlesex Championship match since September 2013, when Middlesex offspinner Ollie Rayner claimed astonishing match figures of 15 for 118 to set up a 146-run win. Surrey have only won one of the last 10 Championship matches between the London rivals.
    Adam Voges is set to return after concussion to resume the Middlesex captaincy, while Surrey are still missing Zafar Ansari and Mark Footitt.
  • Peter May batting against Australia in 1961. The stand which will be opened in his honour on Sunday takes Surrey's capacity to 26,000

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