The first round of the third instalment of the Royal London One-Day Cup kicks off on Sunday, with three fixtures in each of the new look North and South groups. In the North group, Durham travel south to meet Leicestershire at Grace Road.
After winning the first ever tournament and reaching the quarter-finals of the second, Durham will certainly prefer to go upwards rather than down. Leicestershire have no such glory to call upon, but they’ve had a good start to this season in the long format and a solid start in the T20s so clearly things are changing for the better in the Foxes camp.
Many of the faces that appear for Durham in this year’s RLODC will be familiar – Paul Collingwood, Scott Borthwick, Mark Stoneman and Phil Mustard – and if their other limited overs performances are anything to go by, the side is still in excellent form.
Leicestershire have had a boost in confidence this season with a good showing in both of the other competitions and will be hoping this is echoed in the fifty over game as well.
Always a central figure for the Foxes, Clint McKay takes wickets and changes games. With a batting line-up of the calibre that Durham has, Leicestershire will need their bowling to be on top form. With years of experience and proven ability, the tall thin seamer could prove central to the cause.
Predictable as it may be, Paul Collingwood has to start Durham’s RLODC campaign as key man. His all round ability, his range of shots with the bat, his knack of making the ball swing and his general athleticism is hard to beat. There’s a reason he is still one of the North East’s best even at the grand old age of 40.
Umar Akmal will not play for the Foxes tomorrow, but that is the only change made from the side that beat Durham Jets in the Nattiest Blast this evening. Adel Ali takes Akmal’s place.
Leicestershire squad: Pettini (capt), Cosgrove, K O’Brien, Ali, N O’Brien, Dexter, Hill, Wells, Raine, Taylor, McKay, Naik, Sykes
Left arm seamer Jamie Harrison comes into the Durham squad for the RLODC opener. Otherwise, the side looks very similar to that which appeared at Grace Road today.
Durham Squad: Mark Stoneman (c), Phil Mustard (wk), Paul Collingwood, Graham Clark, Michael Richardson, Calum MacLeod, Ryan Pringle, Keaton Jennings, Scott Borthwick, Paul Coughlin, Usman Arshad, Chris Rushworth, Barry McCarthy, Jamie Harrison
Weather and conditions:
The forecast for Sunday in Leicester is sunny and warm: perfect cricket weather.
Date: June 5th
Ground: The Fischer County Ground, Grace Road
Umpires: Neil Bainton & Alex Wharf
Odds (SkyBet): Leicestershire Foxes 11/10, Durham Jets 8/11