Winless Durham welcome second-placed Derbyshire to Emirates Riverside, desperate to claim their first victory of the season and move a step closer to moving off the bottom of the table.
For this to happen Glamorgan would have to secure an almighty against Northamptonshire. Derbyshire will be hoping for their third victory of the season and second against Durham, which would help cement their position in the promotion places.
Their designs on top spot, like Durham’s on ninth, depend on an equally impressive win for Leicestershire over Lancashire as Glamorgan would need over Northants, so they will have to focus on beating Durham.
That will be easier said than done however and do not let Durham’s lowly position fool you into thinking this will be a one-sided, easy victory for Derbyshire – Durham have some impressive players and if they fire over the four days, could make the bookies odds of 5/4 look very silly.
This has yet to happen however, with their batsmen struggling with only two having scored more than 200 runs so far this season. In comparison, Derbyshire have five men who have achieved this so far, Wayne Madsen having achieved the feat in one innings.
Their bowlers have also found the going tough too, despite the ever dependable Chris Rushworth who has taken 19 wickets at an average of 17.32. Only one other Durham bowler has taken over 10 wickets this season and they will be hoping that Matthew Salisbury can add to that haul against Derbyshire. They have, on the other hand have four bowlers who have reached double figures in their wickets column, one of those being Luis Reece, who is also in the category of having scored over 200 runs this season also.
With the weather looking moist to say the least over days two, three and four a positive result may be hard to come by and both sides will be looking to get bonus points on the board early in the game, so should it become a draw, they can secure as many points as possible. Expect there not to be a toss and for Derbyshire to bat first under the sun on the first day and try and secure as many batting points as possible, before the rain comes.
To win a match you have to take 20 wickets, and take wickets is what Chris Rushworth does best. In another era he would have undoubtedly have played for his country, but he has to make do with excelling for his county in this era, something that he does season after season. He has started this campaign well, taking 19 wickets at an average of 17.32 and economy rate of 2.46. He is ever dependable and reliable and is a captain’s dream to have, as he can tie up and end and is a genuine wicket taking threat. If the Derbyshire batsmen do not know where their off stump is, then Rushworth will be adding to his wicket haul for the season and increasing their chances of a first victory.
As a captain you want to know what you are getting from a player and in Tony Palladino Billy Godleman knows what he’s getting. He’s getting a bowler who can do than tie up an end, his 116.3 overs going at a miserly 1.87 runs per over, an economy rate bettered only by James Anderson, of regular bowlers so far this season.
He also takes wickets and has 12 so far this season at an average of 18.12. If there is something there for a bowler then Palladino will find it and cause trouble for the Durham batsmen and if there isn’t anything there for the bowler, then Palladino works at his metronomic best and causes trouble that way. Either way, if Palladino is on form then Derbyshire could well find themselves with three wins under their belts come the end of the game.
Durham Squad: Alex Lees, Michael Jones, Cameron Bancroft (c), Gareth Harte, Graham Clark, Jack Burnham, Liam Trevaskis, Ned Eckersley, Ben Raine, James Weighell, Brydon Carse, Matthew Potts, Chris Rushworth
Derbyshire Squad: Billy Godleman, Luis Reece, Wayne Madsen, Tom Lace, Alex Hughes, Leus du Plooy, Harvey Hosein, Matt Critchley, Anuj Dal, Logan van Beek, Tony Palladino, Ravi Rampaul
Weather and Conditions
Day one is the day to visit Durham if you are planning a trip to the cricket this week, with sunshine and pleasant temperatures forecast for the day. For the next three days, if the forecast is to be believed, it will be umbrellas and jumpers required. This should help the bowlers under grey skies after day one and in all probability reduce the chances of a positive result greatly.
Date: June 3-6 2019
Ground: Emirates Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street
Odds (SkyBet): Durham 5/4, Derbyshire 8/13