Friday, 5 July 2013

Just two weekends of the County Championship to go!

As the England women take on the Pakistanis in two T20s today at Loughborough the rest of the county circuit players are gearing up for another round of County Championship matches on Sunday. This is the penultimate weekend of County Championship fixtures and things at the top and the bottom of Divisions One and Two are still very much up for grabs - take a look at the league tables here -

Division One
It looks like Sussex and Kent are heading to the Division One play-off, but both have tricky fixtures this weekend.
Sussex take on a resurgent Middlesex, fresh from their resounding eight wicket win over Warwickshire two weeks ago. It may be their only win to date, but their top order have batted consistently throughout the season with Natasha Miles, Cath Dalton and Helen Stolle all in the top 10 run-getters in the Division. They have made decent totals but not been able to bowl out their opponents. Sussex have been strong, but are severely hampered by injuries to key players. This could be a tight game.
Kent are at home to Surrey who have a similar problem to Middlesex - they can get runs, but cannot restrict the opposition. Nat Sciver will be on a high from her England performances this week and a big knock from her, and maybe some wickets too, could mean Kent won't have it all their own way, but Kent will be confident.
Third-placed Notts take on Yorkshire, who could leap-frog over them if they win. Whichever team loses is probably out of contention for the top two places. Notts were riding high, but suffered at the hands of Sussex two weeks ago. Yorkshire have lacked consistency - they beat Sussex, but lost badly to Berkshire and Warwickshire with some fragile batting. I think this is likely to be an edgy affair and one good knock could win it for either side.
Warwickshire take on Berkshire, who are still in with a shout of the top two places, having only lost two games this season to Kent and Essex. Warwickshire have struggled to put decent scores on the board and Berkshire should be favourites to win this one.

Division Two
Lancashire make the trip down to Devon
in great form. They have won five out of five and should not really slip up against Devon who have had a torrid season. Devon have the potential to cause an upset though and they really need a win. I think this could be a good game to watch in the Devon sun.
Second-placed Somerset are at home to Wales and will be looking to keep the pressure on Lancashire and keep themselves above Ireland (who don't play this weekend). Wales are battling it out at the bottom of the league, but are unlikely to get much change out of a well-drilled Somerset team.
Staffs take on Worcestershire in a mid-table clash. Staffs have struggled for runs this season and Worcestershire will hope to capitalise on this and sneak up a place in the league.
Durham meet Cheshire, who have performed admirably this season. Both sides have struggled with the bat and this could be a low-scoring affair.


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