Scott Borthwick and Phil Mustard celebrate a wicket in the recent game with Somerset
Durham host Yorkshire in an eagerly anticipated May Bank Holiday fixture, which begins at Emirates Durham ICG on Sunday (11am start)
There are a multitude of reasons why this match is one to look out for - the close proximity of the two counties, the great rivalry that emerged last season as both teams fought for the title, and the debut of Durham's new signing Kumar Sangakkara.
Sangakkara, the current number two test batsman in the world, looks set to play in this match and the following game at Sussex before linking up with Sri Lanka. The 36 year old, who jetted in to England on Tuesday, has trained with his new teammates for a few days now and will hope to make an impact against the White Rose county.
Mark Wood is also available for selection after completing his recovery from a side strain. The 24 year old fast bowler has put in some impressive displays for the second XI in recent weeks.
Durham go into this game after two consecutive draws. Northamptonshire's last wicket partnership denied last season's champions an opening day win, whilst the clash with Somerset was affected by the weather, before a match-saving century from Nick Compton.
Last season, Durham pipped Yorkshire to the LV= County Championship title thanks to a late surge in form. Jason Gillespie's team had led the way for much of the campaign, but Paul Collingwood and his side won five matches in a row, including a stunning victory over Yorkshire at Scarborough.
This year, Yorkshire have had a mixed set of results from their first three matches. They drew with Somerset and then eased to an innings victory over Northamptonshire, largely thanks to a fine 174 from Gary Ballance and Jack Brooks' eight wicket haul.
In their most recent game, they seemed in total command until an astonishing innings of 241* from the Australian Chris Rogers ensured Middlesex cruised to a mammoth victory target of 472.
Yorkshire will therefore be keen to bounce back from that defeat, although they will be without the services of Joe Root and Gary Ballance, who are both in the England ODI squad to face Scotland.
You can purchase tickets in advance online here. The price is £12 for adults (plus a £2 booking fee per transaction) and £5 for juniors.
If bought in person on the day, the price is £15 per adult. Junior tickets are £5
Last LV= County Championship meeting:
Wednesday 28th - Saturday 31st August 2013 - Durham won by 7 wickets
Durham 1st innings 573-7 all out (Stokes 127, Stoneman 122, Richardson 102)
Yorkshire 1st innings 274 all out (Williamson 84, Bairstow 82)
Yorkshire 2nd innings 419 all out (Jaques 152, Williamson 97)
Durham 2nd innings 124-3 (Borthwick 65).
A word from both camps:
Paul Collingwood, Durham Captain: "It's certainly a challenge that we're looking forward to, it's a big game in the season. We know Yorkshire are a good side, but if we play at our best then we can put teams under pressure, so we're very much looking forward to the game"
Jason Gillespie, Yorkshire Head Coach: “At Chester-le-Street Durham are exceptionally strong and they are hard to beat. They are last year’s Champions and we have to be the best we can be to get back on the horse and get a win.”
Did you know?
In a cricketing week dominated by a fine innings from Chris Rogers, the two highest individual scores in this fixture have both been scored by Australians.
Durham's Michael Di Venuto made 184 against Yorkshire at Chester-le-Street back in 2008, whilst two years earlier, Darren Lehman amassed a superb 339 at Headingley.
Head Coach Jon Lewis has made two changes to the squad that hosted Somerset in the previous game. Kumar Sangakkara and Mark Wood are both included, with Gordon Muchall and Paul Coughlin the men to miss out. Ben Stokes (wrist) is still unavailable.
Paul Collingwood (5) *
Phil Mustard (19) +
Mark Stoneman (26)
Kumar Sangakkara (3)
Keaton Jennings (1)
Scott Borthwick (16)
Micahel Richardson (18)
Gareth Breese (70)
Usman Arshad (78)
Mark Wood (33)
Jamie Harrison (13)
Chris Rushworth (22)
Graham Onions (9)
Andrew Gale (26) *
Andrew Hodd (4)
Tim Bresnan (16)
Liam Plunkett (28)
Jack Brooks (70)
Jonny Bairstow (21)
Adam Lyth (9)
Ryan Sidebottom (11)
Jack Leaning (34)
Alex Lees (14)
Kane Williamson (8)
Adil Rashid (3)
Steven Patterson (17)