Vitality County Championship Match Preview: Northamptonshire v Yorkshire

Vitality County Championship Match Preview: Northamptonshire v Yorkshire

Has time run out for Yorkshire to be a serious promotion challenger?

Neither Northamptonshire nor Yorkshire have won a game so far this season, although Northants have had two opportunities, the first against Glamorgan when rain intervened and in the last round when they were unable to take the final wicket against Derbyshire. Yorkshire might also think themselves unlucky against Glamorgan, but their performances on the field have not matched the strength of the side on paper and the two losses in low scoring games means their promotion ambitions are on hold.

Northamptonshire have put up strong first innings batting performances in each game, other than in their loss to Gloucestershire and Emilio Gay has led the way. He is currently the second highest run scorer in Division Two with 661 runs at 82.62 including a century and a double century. He has been backed up by Karun Nair with 443 runs at 55.37 and Luke Procter with 427 runs at 53.37. On the bowling front, Ben Sanderson stands out as their leading wicket-taker with 19 at 32.10, but he has not had much support from the other seamers in the squad. Chris Tremain took just two wickets in his four games and Northants have now brought in Siddarth Kaul for the last three games of this block. He has made more of an impact, taking nine wickets in his two matches so far. Liam Patterson-White was also brought in on loan from Nottinghamshire, initially for one game and this was extended to two, during which he has taken nine wickets at 33.44. There is no news as to whether he will play another match.

Yorkshire come into this game on the back of a second loss and will now be without both Joe Root and Harry Brook. Nevertheless there is enough talent in the Yorkshire squad to be able to fill those gaps. Adam Lyth leads the run scoring with 461 at 51.22, with Root and Brook the next two in the rankings. Ben Coad has led the attack effectively, having taken 21 wickets at 21.33, while Jordan Thompson has taken 13 at 29.38. However Matt Fisher has been unable to press his Test aspirations having taken just nine wickets at 37.33. The bottom line is that other members of the squad are going to have to up their game if Yorkshire are going to turn things around.

Northamptonshire are going to struggle to take 20 wickets and the reliance on 35-year-old Ben Sanderson might be taking its toll as he has now played all six matches so far this season. On paper a Yorkshire win looks the most likely outcome, but they just have not delivered.

Key players:

This will the last of Siddarth Kaul’s three match stint with Northamptonshire, but the fast-medium bowler has made an immediate impact with his nine wickets. The 34-year-old is unlikely to be a familiar name to most, having appeared for India in just two ODIs and two T20 internationals, the last back in 2019. He has taken 293 first class wickets in 85 matches at 26.37, but had a modest Ranji Trophy this winter, taking just 15 wickets in seven matches at 31.26. Northants will be hoping he can finish on a high.

Dan Moriarty moved to Yorkshire from Surrey on loan last season, before signing permanently on a three year deal. The 25-year-old slow left arm bowler has replaced Dom Bess as the first choice spinner, the two playing in tandem in one game this season. He has bowled 167 overs in the four matches he has played this season, taking 10 wickets at 49.10. He did not play in the last round as Yorkshire went with an all seam attack, but we expect him to be back this week, looking to improve his strike rate as Yorkshire chase down their first win.

Team News:

The question is whether Northants can afford to rest Sanderson.

Northamptonshire squad (from): Luke Procter (c), George Bartlett, Michael Finan, Emilio Gay, Siddharth Kaul, Rob Keogh, Lewis McManus (wk), Karun Nair, Alex Russell, James Sales, Ben Sanderson, George Scrimshaw, Ricardo Vasconcelos, Saif Zaib

Ben Coad has played in all six games, but Yorkshire’s seam resources have been hit by injuries to Matt Milnes and Mickey Edwards.

Yorkshire Squad (from): Shan Masood (c), Finlay Bean, Dom Bess, Ben Coad, Matthew Fisher, George Hill, Will Luxton, Adam Lyth, Dan Moriarty, Matthew Revis, Jonathan Tatersall (wk), Jordan Thompson, James Wharton

Weather and Conditions

The forecast is for a dry first two days, with showers then coming in, perhaps thundery on day three.

The skipper winning the toss in each of the three games played at the County Ground this season has elected to bowl first. This has had mixed results, with Northants piling on 552/6 declared in the first match, so batting first should not be a big issue.    

Date: 24th May 2024

Time: 11:00

Ground: County Ground, Northampton


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