County Championship: Final day preview

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Relegation is still at stake in Division One of the County Championship, while Hampshire and Essex are still in contention for promotion from the second tier. 

Lancashire vs. Middlesex

It was almost as if the County Championships aficionados knew what would be at stake for Lancashire and Middlesex when they wrote the fixture list at the start of the summer. Relegation will be decided – for one of the two – depending on this result. Even for the survivor, there will be a difficult analysis come the end of what has been a hugely disappointing season for both sides.

Northamptonshire vs. Sussex

Incredibly, Northants remain winless and are set for the unwanted record of Division One’s lowest ever points tally. After being bowled out for 83 and 90 against last season’s champions Durham, David Ripley’s side may be looking forward to getting their solitary season in the top tier over and done with. As for Sussex, they secured safety when they plunged Lancashire into further trouble last week.

Warwickshire vs. Durham

Warwickshire will go into Tuesday’s fixture with scores to be settled after Durham came out on top when the two sides met in Saturday’s Royal London One-Day Cup final. Ben Stokes took the limelight at Lord’s, but Chris Rushworth will be looking to steal it back, taking fifteen wickets against Northants.

Yorkshire vs. Somerset

Champions Yorkshire will finish the season on a high nonetheless, but Somerset will be looking to prick their balloon nonetheless. The White Rose will once again be without captain Andrew Gale, who was suspended for the last two games of the season by the ECB for a verbal attack on Lancashire’s Ashwell Prince. However, England stars Joe Root and Gary Ballance will be available to fill that particular void.

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Division Two

Derbyshire vs. Leicestershire

Leicestershire will be grateful to see the back of what has been a dire season for them, but before it’s all over, they have one last chance at winning a game. Derbyshire thrashed Surrey by eight wickets last week, with Mark Footitt starring with the ball.

Essex vs. Worcestershire

Worcestershire have already sealed promotion, and Essex will be looking to join them in Division One next season, but must rely on Hampshire slipping up. Essex have been in good form ahead of the final stretch, though again they are missing England captain Alistair Cook, who has not been released by the ECB.

Glamorgan vs. Hampshire

Hants’ promotion depends on them beating lowly Glamorgan, who have little at stake. Having been in and around the promotion spots all season, Hampshire are deserving of promotion, but have Essex on their tail.

Kent vs. Gloucestershire

Daniel Bell-Drummond and Sam Northeast both hit centuries for Kent last time out against Hampshire. Gloucestershire will go in as underdogs, and like Glamorgan, have little to play for but pride, knowing the highest they can now finish is seventh.

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