Whilst on paper neither Northamptonshire or Glamorgan have much to play for ahead of their meeting at Wantage Road this week, both will be eyeing up third place in Division Two as a relatively successful season.
The sides are currently locked on 162 points in fourth and fifth, with Essex eight points ahead of the pair, and while Surrey and Lancashire have long since had the two promotion places in the bag, the race to finish ‘best of the rest’ is very much alive.
For Northants a third-place finish would be as a successful season in a campaign that has also seen them runners up in the T20 Blast, and while they’re still fighting for a proud finish in the Championship, eight draws from 14 games has seen their four-day season never quite get up and running.
Glamorgan had a good start to the Championship summer, however that has tailed away in the past couple of months, the side without a win in six games in a run starching back to the victory over Leicestershire back in June, and were last week crushed by 316 runs by Kent.
Rory Kleinveldt might not have been an overseas signing that excited many but the South African has proved a dependable accusation, becoming just the third overseas bowler to pass 50 wickets in the Championship after Clint McKay and Steve Maggofin, whilst his lower order batting can also prove dangerous.
In a young team Glamorgan will need all of Graham Wagg’s experience to guide them. Making the headlines for his batting exploits earlier in the campaign, he provides the experience in the middle order, whilst his new ball partnership with Michael Hogan is key.
Richard Levi became the latest Northants batsman to suffer a broken finger in the game at Essex last week so will miss out, but Rob Newton returns to the squad after his own broken thumb.
Richard Glesson is in the 13-man squad and could make his Championship debut after appearance against the Australians last month, while 19-year-old Charlie Thurston could also debut.
Northamptonshire squad: Alex Wakely (captain), Muhammad Azharullah, Maurice Chambers, Ben Duckett, Josh Cobb, Richard Glesson, Rob Keogh, David Murphy, Rob Newton, Adam Rossington, Rory Kleinveldt, Charlie Thurston, Olly Stone
David Lloyd is a potential fitness concern for Glamorgan, so Dewi Penrhyn Jones has been drafted in as cover alongside the XI that lost heavily against Kent. James Kettleborough returns to play against his former county.
Glamorgan squad: Mark Wallace (captain, wicketkeeper), Chris Cooke, Aneurin Donald, Michael Hogan, Colin Ingram, James Kettleborough, Jeremy Lawlor, David Lloyd, Craig Meschede, Dewi Penrhyn Jones, Andrew Salter, Graham Wagg
Weather and conditions
It could be a rather wet week at Wantage Road with rain forecast for days one and three with showers on the other two. Recent Championship pitches have had been rather green and with the weather forecast another result pitch wouldn’t be a surprise.
Date: 14 – 17 September 2015
Venue: Wantage Road, Northampton
Odds: Northants 4/6; Glamorgan 11/10