Essex CCC vs. Northamptonshire CCC
Northants return to LV= County Championship action today against Essex, in another crucial game, as the race for promotion heats up. Northants will be wanting to continue the momentum they gained at the weekend, after winning the Friends Life t20, the first major trophy for the club since 1992.
Northants are currently sitting second in Division 2, 20 points behind leaders Lancashire and 27 points ahead of third place Gloucestershire. Essex are in fourth place 29 points behind Northants.
In their last game, Northants hosted Gloucestershire, on what turned out to be a very good batting pitch. During the game four different players made a century, including a brilliant 255 not out by veteran David Sales. Despite drawing, Northants came away with 11 points.
Essex in their previous game comfortably defeated Leicestershire at Chelmsford. Essex were inspired by a double century from Jaik Mickleburgh and then a fivefer from Greg Smith, as they won by an innings and 25 runs. Essex came away from the game with a vital 21 points. Making his debut for Essex today will be former Northants player, Monty Panesar.
The last time these two sides met, Northants won comfortably, as they started the season extremely strongly. A strong batting performance by the tail and a five wicket haul in the second innings by David Willey led Northants to victory by an innings and 9 runs.
Muhammad Azhar Ullah
There are three changes to the team that drew with Gloucestershire last time out.
Kyle Coetzer injured his wrist during the Friends Life t20 semi-final on Saturday, so is replaced by Rob Keogh. Cameron White has flown back to Australia, following his very successful spell here at the club and is replaced by Ben Duckett. Finally David Willey is unavailable as he is on England Lions duty and is replaced by the returning Trent Copeland.
Stephen Peters will once again lead the side.