The second Scarborough fixture of the season is upon the Yorkshire faithful as the team travel east for a spot of County Championship cricket against Middlesex.
Currently, it’s all getting a bit tight at the top of the Division One table. Sworn rivals of the white rose, Lancashire, are currently sitting in pole position and this week’s visitors Middlesex are in third; Yorkshire are nestled in the middle of these two teams and boast a potentially-vital game in hand.
Whilst Lancashire have a nine-point lead at the top, Middlesex are just two points behind Yorkshire so this match could switch the three top teams around. It also means that these two will have half an eye on the Nottinghamshire/Lancashire fixture at Trent Bridge this week.
Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale has a prolific record at North Marine Road with good centuries for a number of years on the bounce and in all the eleven fixtures played between these two teams at Scarborough, Yorkshire have won four and lost just two.
Middlesex will also be boosted by the return of Steven Finn who has been released by the England setup for this fixture. His bounce and pace could prove invaluable to the Middlesex line-up. Big friend Tim Murtagh has also played well at Scarborough in the past, last year taking 3-64 from 23 overs in the same fixture last year.
The ground is notorious for Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale with regards to runs so whilst he hasn’t been prolific this season so far, keep an eye on him when he makes his way to the crease this week. The 32-year-old has scored at least a century in a match at Scarborough for the last three years – in 2013 he scored a brilliant 272, in 2014 it was 126* and in 2015 it was 164.
Middlesex’s man of the moment Nick Gubbins has been in and around the first XI for around three years now and has made quite a name for himself, most recently racking up 201* in a 207-run partnership with life-long friend Stevie Eskinazi.
He also clocked up 109 in Middlesex’s clash against Somerset in May of this year – having fallen short of a century on a number of occasions prior to this.
Yorkshire will continue to be without their England internationals: Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, David Willey, Liam Plunkett and Adil Rashid but otherwise have an unchanged squad from their recent limited-overs matches.
Yorkshire squad: Andrew Gale (captain), Gary Ballance, Tim Bresnan, Karl Carver, Ben Coad, Andrew Hodd (wicket-keeper), Alex Lees, Jack Leaning, Adam Lyth, Steven Patterson, Azeem Rafiq, Will Rhodes, Josh Shaw, Kane Williamson
Middlesex will continue to be without Eoin Morgan as he captains England in the ODI series against Sri Lanka but it does appear that Steve Finn will be available for selection.
Middlesex squad: James Franklin (captain), George Bailey, Steve Eskinazi, Steven Finn, James Fuller, Nick Gubbins, James Harris, Ryan Higgins, Tim Murtagh, Ollie Rayner, Sam Robson, Toby Roland-Jones, John Simpson (wicket-keeper), Paul Stirling
Weather and conditions
It might not make it into record temperatures at Scarborough but it should be a fairly pleasant 17 degrees Celsius for the four days with sun and cloud across all days, Monday and Wednesday more cloud than sun.
Date: 3rd-6th July 2016
Ground: North Marine Road, Scarborough
Umpires: Jeff Evans & Peter Hartley
Odds (SkyBet): Yorkshire 4/7, Middlesex 11/8