Northants v Durham - Match Preview

Northants v Durham - Match Preview

Captain Paul Collingwood is preparing to lead his side into the new campaign

Durham travel to newly-promoted Northamptonshire for the opening LV=County Championship game of the season on Sunday (11am start)

After winning a third title in the space of six seasons, Durham will start the defence of their crown against Division One newcomers Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.

Only two days of play were possible in Durham's final pre-season game against Durham University, but with Paul Collingwood hitting a century and three other batsmen registering half-centuries, the team look to be in good shape.

It's been 10 years since Northants have been in Division One, but David Ripley's young side enjoyed an excellent 2013. They not only secured promotion by finishing second behind Lancashire, they also won the Friends Life Twenty20 cup.

Unfortunately, since then they have endured some terrible luck with injuries. Alex Wakely ruptured his achilles tendon in pre-season and a deal for overseas player Jackson Bird had to be cancelled due to a back complaint. South African all rounder Rory Kleinveldt is set to come in as his replacement, but he won't feature against Durham. The trio of David Willey, Rob Keogh and James Kettleborough are also unlikely to be available due to injury.

You can follow the action with daily reports here on and receive regular updates by following our Twitter account @DurhamCricket. The BBC Sport website will provide ball-by-ball commentary of all four days play.

Ticket details
Tickets are priced at £10 per day for adults or £1 for juniors and can be purchased online via the Northants Cricket website or in person on the day.

Last County Championship meeting

Wednesday 14th - Saturday 17th September 2005 - Match Drawn.

Northants 1st innings 414-7 dec (Afzaal 119, Wessels 107, Plunkett 5-86)
Durham 1st innings 270 all out (Breese 78, Wright 5-79)
Northants 2nd innings 101-7 dec (Thorp 3-10)
Durham 2nd innings 38-2.

A word from both camps
Jamie Harrison, Durham fast bowler: "Teams that come up from the league below have always got something to prove. It's the same for us really, we have to defend our Championship and start with winning ways. I think it will be a good, tough challenge first up but I think we're in the best position that we could be for this time of year"

David Ripley, Northants Head Coach:
"There’s been plenty of talk about Division One and a bit of a step up and we’re looking forward to getting in amongst it and finding out for ourselves."

Did you know?
Northampton Town FC used to play at the County Ground between 1897 and 1994 before their move to Sixfields Stadium. In an FA Cup match back in 1970, 'The Cobblers' lost 8-2 to Manchester United, with George Best scoring six goals for the visitors.

Team News
Head Coach Jon Lewis has named the same squad that faced Durham MCCU earlier this week. Mark Wood is nearing a return from a side strain but won't travel and Ben Stokes (wrist) also misses out.

Durham squad:
Paul Collingwood (5) *
Phil Mustard (19) +
Mark Stoneman (26)
Keaton Jennings (1)
Scott Borthwick (16)
Micahel Richardson (18)
Gareth Breese (70)
Gordon Muchall (24)
Usman Arshad (78)
Paul Coughlin (29)
Jamie Harrison (13)
Chris Rushworth (22)
Graham Onions (9)

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