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County Championship 2013


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The new domestic cricket season is less than a week away now so it's time to start the 1st thread of the year, the County Championship. I'll start it with one thread but if it overflows I'll cut it into a thread for each division. I've done a preview for each division which I'll put up in the next two posts but just a quick overview of the rules and format for those new to domestic cricket and the wonderful betting opportunities it brings. We have two divisions of 9 counties. At the end of the season the top 2 from Division 2 replace the bottom 2 of Division 1. You now get 16pts for a win, 3 for a draw and nothing for losing. All matches in this competition are 4 days long and 2 innings per side. You also score bonus points in the 1st innings of each match and they are scored as follows: Batting: 200-249 runs = 1pt 250-299 runs = 2pts 300-349 runs = 3pts 350-399 runs = 4pts 400 runs and over = 5pts Bowling: 3-5 wickets = 1pt 6-8 wickets = 2pts 9 or 10 wickets = 3pts Note: You can only score bonus points in the 1st 110 overs of each 1st innings. Season runs from April to September and begins on Wednesday. Let's hope it's a decent season with plenty of involvement like the recent cricket threads on PL. I know we've lots of county fans on PL so this should be another good thread. Previews to follow shortly.

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Re: County Championship 2013 Division 1 preview: Derbyshire are set to embark on a rare season in the top flight but they do so with spirits high in Derby and with the motivation not just to prove doubters wrong but to continue to improve. The signing of Shivnerine Chanderpaul as overseas player is a massive one. You get high volumes of runs from Chanderpaul and that can give their solid bowling attack both rest during games and totals to defend as well. Billy Godleman has also joined from Essex to give the batting more support. There’s no doubt Derbyshire’s strength lies in their bowling attack but they do bat a long way down and are hard to beat. Clearly staying up will be a fantastic achievement for Derbyshire this season and that isn’t as unlikely as people might think. Derbyshire have an ambitious owner, a good young set of coaches and the right mix of experience and youth in their squad. It will be a long fight to avoid relegation but Derbyshire can do it. Last season: 1st in Division 2 Overseas player(s): Shivnerine Chanderpaul Key players: Shivnerine Chanderpaul & Tony Palladino One to watch: Ross Whiteley – had a winter down under and the all rounder can show his quality throughout 2013. Best odds: 28/1 (Sportingbet) Predicted finishing position: 7th Durham go into the new season as a side in transition and it could be a long season in first class cricket for the Dynamos. With cash a bit tight in the north-east signings in the winter have been non-existent. They have got Liam Plunkett and Ian Blackwell off the wage bill which could help and Paul Collingwood is an experienced captain now after his England exploits but Durham will really need their experienced players to stand up and be counted this season. Durham’s bowling attack is generally a potent one whoever they put out but they can no longer rely on Steven Harmison, who is getting no younger. A lot of Durham’s fortunes this season will depend on how much England want Graham Onions this summer. If he is away their attack has a different complexion. Youngsters Ben Stokes and Keaton Jennings will look to impress with the bat and they will need to as Durham struggled badly for runs last season. I just think Durham lack the depth in quality to stay up this season. Last season: 6th Overseas player(s): None Key players: Ben Stokes & Graham Onions One to watch: Keaton Jennings – young opening batsman is forging a steady reputation, one he can enhance in 2013. Best odds: 9/1 (Sportingbet) Predicted finishing position: 8th Middlesex go into the new season with high hopes of success. Having established themselves last season Angus Fraser will be looking for his charges to push on this term and the signing of James Harris is one of intent. Andrew Strauss has retired since the start of last season and Steven Crook has departed for Northamptonshire again but Middlesex retain the majority of their squad which ticked along nicely last season. The Panthers saw a little bit of Steven Finn last season but can’t expect to see as much of him this season. However in Toby Roland-Jones, James Harris and Tim Murtagh, Middlesex have a seam trio who will take a lot of wickets this season. Chris Rogers returns as overseas player which is a boost and if the Middlesex batsmen can score heavily enough throughout the season then the biggest piece of silverware of them all could be stored safely in the Lords trophy cabinet come the end of September. Last season: 3rd Overseas player(s): Chris Rogers, Adam Voges (T20) Key players: Chris Rogers & Toby Roland-Jones One to watch: Ravi Patel – the slow left arm spinner could be Middlesex’s first choice this season and can impress against high quality opponents. Best odds: 7/1 (General) Predicted finishing position: 1st Nottinghamshire pushed hard for the title last season and just faltered towards the end of the it but having added Ajmal Shahzad to their bowling attack and secured the overseas signing of Ed Cowan for the first half of the season the Outlaws will be looking to go even closer to winning the title this season. Head coach Mick Newell has made the bold move to ban his players from the IPL which means the likes of Michael Lumb and Alex Hales are around from the start of the season. Nottinghamshire have arguably the best batting line up in the country and with Shahzad added to their bowling attack they have everything in place for another strong tilt at the title. The likes of Andy Carter and Luke Fletcher are a year more experienced with the ball and with Andre Adams back for more Nottinghamshire will feel they have a strong chance. This is a stronger league than last season though and while I expect the Outlaws to challenge in all three competitions they may just be edged out in this one. Last season: 5th Overseas player(s): Ed Cowan (First half of the season) & David Hussey (T20 onwards) Key players: Samit Patel & Ajmal Shahzad One to watch: Sam Wood – the England under 19 all rounder is likely to make a breakthrough this season, especially when Samit Patel is away. Best odds: 11/2 (General) Predicted finishing position: 3rd Somerset have really become the bridesmaids of county cricket having finished runners up to Warwickshire in this competition last season. Since then Brian Rose has left as Director of Cricket which was a surprise but it may not be a bad thing. Nick Compton was a mainstay of the batting last season but Somerset moved fast to sign Alviro Petersen for the first two thirds of the season once it was obvious that Compton’s test career was going to be a permanent one. One thing you can almost guarantee is that Somerset’s batsmen will score runs so how well they do this season will depend on their bowling attack and that’s an area that hasn’t really been strengthened although they will see Alfonso Thomas a lot earlier than last season which will be a boost. The likes of the Overton twins and George Dockrell will need to play to their potential if Somerset are going to get any closer to the top but with England sniffing around more of their players I think this will be a mid table season for them. Last season: 2nd Overseas player(s): Alviro Petersen (Until after T20) & Abdur Rehman (rest of season) Key players: Marcus Trescothick & Alfonso Thomas One to watch: Adam Dibble – seam bowler has begun to make a bit of a name for himself over the winter and he’s the next to really break through at Taunton. Best odds: 6/1 (Boylesports & BetVictor) Predicted finishing position: 5th Surrey had a horrible year last year. The tragedy of the death of Tom Maynard hit the club hard from top to bottom and had a significant effect on their season. As it was, a good finish to the season kept them up and they will look to use the spirit of Maynard to move on and challenge again this season. In terms of putting out a marker they could have done no more than convince Graeme Smith to come over and skipper the side and his tough approach should be just what Surrey need. Experienced players in the likes of Vikram Solanki and Gary Keedy have also signed while Ricky Ponting will replace Smith when he’s away. Rory Hamilton-Brown has left the club. Immediately the big thing for Surrey this season will be to gel quickly. If they can do that they have an excellent chance of doing well as they have a good batting line up, one which could be better but good enough, a top seam attack with plenty of options and plenty of spinners to back them up. Smith likes to attack as a captain so I expect to see a lot of results in Surrey matches this season but with the amount of ins and outs this could just be a season too soon for Chris Adams’ men in what is a strong first division. Last season: 7th Overseas player(s): Graeme Smith & Ricky Ponting (T20 and cover for Smith) Key players: Graeme Smith & Stuart Meaker One to watch: Rory Burns – young wicket keeper batsman broke through last season and can be Smith’s regular opening partner this term. Best odds: 13/2 (Boylesports) Predicted finishing position: 4th Sussex have got the formula right in one day cricket but they still strive for that little bit more to take them to the next level in four day cricket so the signing of Rory Hamilton-Brown is a good one if they can get him enjoying his cricket again after the tragic loss of his best friend Tom Maynard last year. Chris Jordan is another with bags of potential who has come in. Murray Goodwin was allowed to leave and that leaves a gap of experience in the batting line up particularly with Michael Yardy regressing at a worrying rate. Ed Joyce skippers the side this season. Sussex have a solid batting line up without being spectacular but they will really need the likes of Chris Nash, Ed Joyce and Luke Wells to churn out heavy runs if they are to get up to the top of the table. England are likely to take Matt Prior, Luke Wright and Monty Panesar at various times this season so Sussex could be an unsettled side which isn’t a help. I’m sure the Sharks will have too much to go down but once again any success they gain could be restricted to the one day arenas. Last season: 4th Overseas player(s): Steve Magoffin & Scott Styris (T20) Key players: Ed Joyce & Monty Panesar One to watch: Chris Jordan – the all rounder isn’t a youngster but he hasn’t fulfilled his potential so far in his career. A move to Sussex could kick start him to show all the class he possesses. Best odds: 9/1 (General) Predicted finishing position: 6th Warwickshire go into the new season looking to defend the title they cruised to last season but there has been a change at the top since the Bears won the Championship. Ashley Giles has left for England and has been replaced by Dougie Brown and Graeme Welch. With success comes England selectors sniffing around and it would be a surprise if Chris Woakes, Varun Chopra, Rikki Clarke and Chris Wright don’t join Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott with England at some point this season. Warwickshire didn’t need to strengthen too much and only Oliver Hannon-Dalby has come in over the winter. Barring a load of England call up’s at the wrong time and to key players everything is in place for Warwickshire to defend their title. This isn’t an easy title to defend though. Getting to the top is the easy part, keeping up the motivation and staying there is the hard part as Yorkshire and Lancashire can testify in recent seasons. I don’t expect the Bears to slip away that much this season as they look strong right through the side but don’t be surprised if they find one too good for them this time around. Last season: 1st Overseas player(s): Jeetan Patel Key players: Varun Chopra & Chris Wright One to watch: Tom Milnes – Milnes has had a chance in pre-season and looks to be a good prospect. He’ll get to show that if England take too many away from the Bears this season. Best odds: 9/2 (Sportingbet & BetVictor) Predicted finishing position: 2nd Yorkshire managed to hold on to get promoted back to Division 1 last season but they face a real struggle to stay there this time around. Batting was a little thin on the ground last season but with the prospect of Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow with England for much of the summer and Anthony McGrath forced to retire all of a sudden the batting cupboard looks bare. That makes the decision to sign only two seam bowlers – Jack Brooks and Liam Plunkett – an even stranger idea. Andrew Hodd made his loan move permanent. The signings of Brooks and Plunkett pep up a strong seam bowling attack which could be even stronger this season if Tim Bresnan falls out of favour with the England hierarchy. Azeem Rafiq will carry on with the spin duties but there’s no getting away from how light this Yorkshire batting line up looks and while bowling sides out should come a little more regularly than the struggles they had last season, scoring runs looks a lot tougher and those lack of runs could see Yorkshire head straight back to Division 2, with the wooden spoon going with them. Last season: 2nd in Division 2 Overseas player(s): None Key players: Gary Ballance & Ryan Sidebottom One to watch: Moin Ashraf – express seamer made a name for himself in the limited overs games last season. Expect him to make an impact in the four day game too. Best odds: 10/1 (General) Predicted finishing position: 9th

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Re: County Championship 2013 Division 2 preview: Essex will be looking for a big season after a couple of seasons out of the spotlight. They will be boosted in that quest by having Ravi Bopara available from the start of the season. Rob Quiney has been signed as an overseas player and he should score big runs in Division 2 this season while the likes of Jaik Mickleburgh and Tom Westley have another year of experience under their belts. Essex have some very good young bowlers and if they perform to their potential the Eagles should go well. Sajid Mahmood has come in to help David Masters guide the young bowlers. Reece Topley and Tymal Mills are two exciting talents who should take wickets this season but if Essex lack anything it is a top quality spinner which could end up holding them back a bit. Their batting line up looks good enough but may not have the right depth until Owais Shah and Ryan ten Doeschate come back from the IPL so while this should be a competitive season for Essex it may well end up frustrating them without promotion. Last season: 5th Overseas player(s): Rob Quiney (Until end of T20) & Shaun Tait (T20) Key players: Ravi Bopara & David Masters One to watch: Ben Foakes – young wicket-keeper batsman can make his mark in the batting line up before replacing Foster with the gloves in time. Best odds: 7/1 (Skybet & Stan James) Predicted finishing position: 4th Glamorgan go into the new season looking to improve on last season but having signed Murray Goodwin and Michael Hogan over the winter I think they can achieve a lot more than that. Losing James Harris was a blow and although Robert Croft will no longer play for the club he will be around for guidance purposes. This is Matthew Mott’s third summer in charge and he will expect his young side to deliver good performances throughout the season. Marcus North returns as overseas player which is a boost. Glamorgan have a solid enough batting line up at this level and Michael Hogan can lead a young bowling attack to perform much better than last season. Graham Wagg missed a lot of last season with injury and if he and James Allenby stay fit then Glamorgan have the potential to be dark horses this season. I think promotion might just elude the Welsh side but with Cardiff and Welsh cricket being in the spotlight throughout the summer with the Champions Trophy being played there I think that can inspire the Dragons to a lofty finishing position. Last season: 6th Overseas player(s): Marcus North & Dirk Nannes (T20) Key players: Jim Allenby & Michael Hogan One to watch: Michael Reed – played a few games last season but can come on this season and step up in the absence of James Harris. Best odds: 20/1 (Sportingbet) Predicted finishing position: 3rd Gloucestershire had a bit of a summer to forget last season with injuries and a cash flow crisis holding them back. The positive to take from that was that they had to blood a lot of youngsters, youngsters who have more experience going into this season. Alex Gidman stood down from the captaincy so overseas signing Michael Klinger will lead the side in all three formats and he looks a quality signing for the youngsters to bat around. In the years to come Gloucestershire will continue to improve but this season will just be one of consolidating in the longer form of the game I think. Having picked up the wooden spoon last season they will be hopeful of avoiding that this season and if their young bowling attack improve to the level they should have done and they stay fit then I think the Gladiators can avoid finishing bottom but I can’t see them finishing much higher unless someone has a special season with the ball. Last season: 9th Overseas player(s): Michael Klinger & Dan Christian (T20) Key players: Michael Klinger & Will Gidman One to watch: Jack Taylor – off spinner broke into the side last season and with his big hitting and clever bowling he can be a success this season. Best odds: 25/1 (General) Predicted finishing position: 8th Hampshire dominated the limited overs game last season winning both one day tournaments but now they will have both eyes firmly on promotion back to the top flight. George Bailey has been signed for the first three quarters of the season to strengthen the batting while Adam Wheater will bring aggressive depth to the batting line up too. Later on in the season Saeed Ajmal will come in as overseas player but perhaps Hampshire’s best winter signing was getting Neil McKenzie for longer this summer. With the likes of Jimmy Adams, the top scorer in the division last season, Michael Carberry, George Bailey and Neil McKenzie for 2/3 of the season Hampshire look to have runs almost as a given. David Balcombe was the leading wicket taker in the division last season and he’s back to make a lot more batsmen unhappy this season and is part of a solid if still young looking bowling attack but when Saeed Ajmal comes in business will really pick up in that department. Hampshire look to have everything in place and they can head back to the top flight with the title under their arms. Last season: 4th Overseas player(s): George Bailey & Saeed Ajmal (August onwards) Key players: Jimmy Adams & David Balcombe One to watch: James Vince – Solid middle order batsman has been around for a while but had a poor first class season last year. Expect him to put that right this season. Best odds: 4/1 (General) Predicted finishing position: 1st Kent were just thwarted in what would have been an unlikely promotion last season but they will look to build on that performance and make sure they return to Division One this season. Jimmy Adams has made this Kent side hard to beat and they have the right mix of youth and experience. Robert Key has stepped down as captain which was a surprise but when he isn’t away with England, James Tredwell will be a perfectly adequate replacement. Kent have some fine young batsmen which the likes of Rob Key, Brendan Nash and Darren Stevens can cajole into a strong batting line up and with the economical Mark Davies showing he can play a whole season and the likes of Matt Coles, who had a wonderful breakthrough season last year, taking the new ball with Charlie Shreck, Kent look a solid side this year. There’s just the concern that this is a stronger division this season and one or two might have improved more than them so I think Kent will miss out again in the Championship but they could enjoy success in a one day competition. Last season: 3rd Overseas player(s): Brendan Nash Key players: Darren Stevens & Mark Davies One to watch: Sam Billings – won’t be long before Billings takes the gloves from Geraint Jones. He forced his way into the one day side last season and once he’s in the four day side there will be no stopping the talented youngster. Best odds: 5/1 (William Hill) Predicted finishing position: 5th Lancashire went from boom to bust as they failed completely in the defence of their Division One title last season. Not only did they fail to defend their title but they were relegated in the process. Glen Chapple has remained at the club to try and lead them back to the top flight at the first time of asking. Simon Katich comes in as overseas player while Ashwell Prince has turned his back on South Africa to sign a Kolpak deal. Wayne White and Kabir Ali also come in but Gary Keedy has left for Surrey. Lancashire have a lot of experience both in their batting ranks and in their bowling attack but I do have concerns as to how strong their bowling is if Glen Chapple went down with an injury. Simon Kerrigan should be more than capable of replacing Gary Keedy while the lack of runs from last season look to have been addressed with Katich’s signing. Lancashire look one of the stronger sides in this division but I just fancy they’ll find one too good for them and while I expect them to have too much quality throughout their side to not go up the title might just elude them. Last season: 8th in Division 1 Overseas player(s): Simon Katich Key players: Ashwell Prince & Glen Chapple One to watch: Alex Davies – young wicket keeper has been impressing for the England under 19’s for a while and he has the quality to force his way into the side this season. Best odds: 3/1 (Sportingbet) Predicted finishing position: 2nd Leicestershire had an average season last year and there wasn’t even any one day joy to go with it which will have been a disappointment. Ramnaresh Sarwan was signed again and given the captaincy but since then he has been recalled to the West Indies side and is expected to miss a large chunk of the season. Australian Joe Burns has been signed as his cover. Niall O’Brien looks a good signing as he can score runs at this level but once again the bowling attack looks a little light particularly with Wayne White having left since the end of the season. Leicestershire have a lot of talented young batsmen and they will need to stand up and be counted this season if Sarwan is away for a long period as he is expected to be. Matthew Hoggard will continue to run in hard with the ball but he can’t do it all on his own so how high up the table Leicestershire will finish will be down to their young bowlers stepping up and someone filling Sarwan’s shoes. This Leicestershire side doesn’t look as strong as last year’s one though and they look to be strong contenders for the wooden spoon. Last season: 7th Overseas player(s): Ramnaresh Sarwan & Joe Burns (cover for Sarwan) Shakib-al-Hasan (T20) Key players: Josh Cobb & Matthew Hoggard One to watch: Shiv Thakor – one of the most talented young cricketers in the country and he is sure to stamp his mark on Leicestershire this summer. Best odds: 25/1 (General) Predicted finishing position: 9th Northamptonshire won’t have been happy with last season at all. In all competitions they managed to win a shocking four games all season and David Capel paid the price of that as head coach. David Ripley has been given the task of guiding Northants to better things. Andrew Hall has stepped down from the captaincy with Stephen Peters replacing him. Niall O’Brien, Jack Brooks and Chaminda Vaas have left for pastures new but Matthew Spriegel and Steven Crook come up from London and Trent Copeland looks a clever overseas pick. Batting was a bit of a problem for Northants last summer but taking wickets was what was restricting them. Although Jack Brooks is well touted he didn’t actually produce for Northants last season so his loss won’t be felt as much as some are suggesting. If their batting can make bigger runs, and Matt Spriegel should help with that, then the likes of Copeland, Hall and Willey should provide the firepower to bowl sides out more regularly. I don’t see the Steelbacks being as bad as last year but I don’t see them as a promotion contender either. Last season: 8th Overseas player(s): Trent Copeland (Until June) & Cameron White (T20) Key players: Stephen Peters & Andrew Hall One to watch: Olly Stone – England under 19 captain looks to have plenty of potential and he can show that in the absence of Vaas and Brooks. Best odds: 20/1 (General) Predicted finishing position: 7th Worcestershire suffered badly last season and it was no surprise that they were relegated fairly early on in the piece. They were a young side last season and it was always asking too much for them to survive in Division One but they will be looking to consolidate this season and push for promotion back to the top flight. Vikram Solanki has decided to embark on a new venture so the signing of overseas star Thilan Samaraweera was essential. James Cameron decided to quit the game which leaves a hole in the side. Samaraweera looks set to provide plenty of runs this season and if the likes of Daryl Mitchell, Moeen Ali and Alex Kervezee step up to the mark and a couple of the youngsters show potential then the batting can churn out sufficient runs. There is always a concern over Worcestershire’s bowling but if they can keep Alan Richardson fit then they have a bowler guaranteed to take over 50 wickets this season. The rest of the attack is young which is a concern. I don’t think Worcestershire will be as bad as some people think but there are much stronger sides than them in this section this season. This can be a season of consolidation for the Royals. Last season: 9th in Division 1 Overseas Player(s): Thilan Samaraweera & Jacob Oram (T20) Key players: Moeen Ali & Alan Richardson One to watch: Chris Russell – seam bowler looks to be the pick of Worcestershire’s younger players and they’ll need him to take wickets to challenge this season. Best odds: 10/1 (Sportingbet) Predicted finishing position: 6th

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Re: County Championship 2013 I can't really comment on any other counties than Glamorgan. I would say you have hit the nail on the head really. To add though, I think our season is going to depend heavily on whether North and Goodwin can find some form and whether Hogan adapts to our wickets quickly. The effective swap of Hogan for Harris looks like a good one to me, Harris was stagnating here and his 1 day form was absolutely terrible (not sure what England are thinking really). Hogan seems a better all round bet for us having done well in all forms in Australia. The other important position is who is going to open with Bragg, Rees has really gone off the boil and isn't in the squad for the first game, it looks like Wright will open with Bragg (untested combo apart from the university game). I think this strengthens us, Bragg is fairly limited and Wright is a pretty busy player so they might fit together quite well. Spin is a problem with Cosker having his worst season last year and no obvious backup other than England u19 Salter but we have a near endless supply of decent young pace options. All in all I would say we are probably a tiny bit overpriced even though there are quite a few unknowns to deal with. Just also like to say, you pretty much single handedly hold this cricket section together and those are probably two of the best/most informed posts I have ever read on here.

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Re: County Championship 2013 ^^ I agree, thanks Kev for taking the trouble to write those posts. Much appreciated. I am looking forward to this summer's cricket very much, hopefully less rain than last year. So much so in fact that i have dug my gear out of the loft and signed up to play again :eek Am hoping Kent can progress from last year under Jimmy Adams, and ideally Rob Key will have a good year with the bat now he is free from captaincy concerns. Billings and in particular Northeast were cause for optimism last year, hopefully they will develop. And Coles will be keen to knuckle down after getting sent home from the Lions tour. Kev I would agree that promotion from Div 2 looks a big ask given Lancs and Hamps look strong outfits and there isn't much appeal in the price. I think other counties have better claims in the T20 as well but am hoping we can make a challenge in the forty over comp. For Div 1 i put some each way money down on Surrey earlier in the year at a slightly bigger price, think they have a decent bowling unit at county level and Smith is just the man for the captaincy job - someone with some distance from what happened to the club last year, think they need that. The more i read though, the more i like Middx's chances. Fraser seems to be a good presence there and their bowling attack looks top notch. Anyway best of luck to all, hopefully it will be a great summer.

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Re: County Championship 2013 You're welcome chaps. I had Kent down on my radar for the 40 over comp after last season too but then the draw came out and that group is like a tournament in itself which may put me off. A few weeks to decide yet though. I agree with you about Rob Key, I expect him to have a decent season but the way I don't know what it is I just think Kent are a batter and a bowler light given how strong the division is. In fact, the race for promotion from Division 2 is going to be the most fascinating thing about this entire summer assuming England batter the Australians like most expect :cigar.

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Re: County Championship 2013 First county bet of the season: 4pts ew Middlesex to win County Championship Division 1 7/1 Sportingbet (1/4 1-3) Middlesex go into the new season under plenty of optimism. You’ll do well to find a better bowling attack than theirs. They might not see Steven Finn much but James Harris has been signed with that in mind. Toby Roland-Jones is very well thought of while Tim Murtagh is a wicket taker. With Mark Ramprakash coaching and potentially inspiring the batsmen, led by the impressive Chris Rogers, I think Middlesex have it all in place to go very well this season. The flatter wickets will help their batsmen but their attack can still bowl sides out and Middlesex look the pick of the value in this division and are well worth a hefty each way punt. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/county-championship-division-one-betting-middlesex-have-everything-in-place-to-win-the-title-20130409

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Re: County Championship 2013 Second county bet of the season: 4pts Hampshire to win Division 2 4/1 Skybet Hampshire had a fantastic season last year. They won both domestic one day tournaments and just missed out on promotion in the Championship. George Bailey will strengthen their batting line up for the first half of the season and Saeed Ajmal will skittle sides at the back end of the season. With Neil McKenzie joining Michael Carberry, Jimmy Adams and George Bailey among others in June, Hampshire look full of runs and with a young bowling attack a year further down the line in their development I think Hampshire look the best bet for the title. Hampshire had the top runscorer and the top wicket taker in this division last season and now they can have the title in it at the end of this season. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/county-championship-division-two-betting-hampshire-have-everything-needed-to-win-division-two-title-20130409

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Re: County Championship 2013 Hoping to be able to spend a bit more time on this thread this summer, as it has been only the occasional visit here for me the last 18 months or so. Very excited that the new season is here again already, and even more excited about my best bet for the Summer, which is: Top Durham Batsman: Ben Stokes (4/1 with Boyles - Stan James & Coral 7/2) He had his problems over the winter with a fondness for a light ale in Australia, but that plays right into our hands with this wager. He'd have to rack up 1000 runs AND 30 wickets by the end of May to have a sniff of getting back into the England set-up this summer. Stokes remains a class act, and showed he is in the right frame of mind with a ton last week, albeit against the students. The other big plus for this bet is that the rest of Durham's batting line-up isn't exactly brimming with strength. Jennings & Stoneman will I'm sure improve, but at the moment can't be fancied for anything like the 1,000+ runs I expect Stokes to get, Benkenstein is the main danger but surely can't keep churning out the runs forever, then you have Collingwood who is a doubt for the first game tomorrow and will need to face twice the number of balls as Stokes to score the same number of runs. Will Smith or Gordon Muchall surely not, which just leaves Colonel Mustard who for all of his shots and quick scoring will be batting down at 7. I've also had a dabble on Stokes each-way to be top Division One runscorer at 50/1 with Coral, although it will be tough for the northern boy on the dodgy early season Riverside pitches to keep up with those playing on roads at the Oval and Taunton etc., and I don't recall that any Durham batsman has ever finished in the top 5 runscorers of the season, never mind topped the list.

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Re: County Championship 2013 Next bets: 2pts Yorkshire to finish bottom of Division 1 11/2 Skybet 1pt Durham to finish bottom of Division 1 10/1 Stan James I can see why Derbyshire are favourites to finish bottom but for my money Yorkshire and Durham have a lot more problems than Derbyshire. You only have to look at Yorkshire’s batting line up and realise if Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow are away with England for much of the summer as most people would expect then they are very short in that department. Yorkshire are stronger with the ball but that’s no good if you have no batsmen. There was always going to be a season where Durham’s old guard got too old and the young guard were still too young and that could be this season. Durham also look light with the bat and if Graham Onions is called into the England squad for any reasonable period this summer then their attack will be without its leader. With Steve Harmison no longer a force and a couple of the other bowlers still quite young Durham might find it tough this season too. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/county-championship-division-one-betting-yorkshire-and-durham-look-value-for-bottom-spot-20130409

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Re: County Championship 2013 4pts Leicestershire to finish bottom of Division 2 7/2 Skybet One side who don’t look to have improved from last season is Leicestershire. Ramnaresh Sarwan was a key player for them last season but he will be away with the West Indies for a lot of this season and his replacement, Joe Burns, has never played in England before. Add to that the fact that Will Jefferson has retired and Wayne White headed for Lancashire and only Niall O’Brien of any quality coming in Leicestershire look a bit light and should be clearer favourites to finish bottom than they are. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/county-championship-division-two-betting-leicestershire-look-the-weakest-of-the-lot-in-division-two-20130409

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Re: County Championship 2013 Division One top bat: 2pts ew S.Chanderpaul Top Division 1 Batsman 14/1 Bet365 (1/4 1-5) 1pt ew G.Smith Top Division 1 Batsman 33/1 Bet365 (1/4 1-5) One man who looks likely to have a bucket load of runs in him is Shivnerine Chanderpaul and the important thing is he will be with Derbyshire for the entire season. The wickets at Derby might not be the greatest but this man is obdurate and once he’s in he isn’t for shifting very easily. There’s enough depth in the Derby line up for Chanderpaul to bat with and fill his boots and it would be a massive surprise if barring injury Chanderpaul isn’t in the top five run scorers at the end of the season. One man who is a big price is Graeme Smith. Part of that is because he’ll miss a few matches with South Africa in the Champions Trophy but he should still play 10-11 matches in the season and with his quality he’s more than capable of top scoring with that amount of matches. Nick Compton only played 11 matches last season and only had 18 innings but he still top scored and Graeme Smith scores runs in the sort of baulk needed to do similar. Smith and Chanderpaul are a cut above this level and both should go well this season. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/county-championship-division-one-betting-class-acts-can-fill-their-boots-in-division-one-this-season-20130409

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Re: County Championship 2013 Division Two top bats: 3pts ew A.Prince Top Division Two Batsman 10/1 Stan James (1/4 1-5) 1pt ew M.Ali Top Division Two Batsman 40/1 Coral (1/4 1-5) One man who has to be backed in this market is Ashwell Price. He was the fourth highest run scorer in Division One last season in a Lancashire side that had no substance to its batting at all. Prince actually scored more runs in Division One last season than anyone in Division Two did so against inferior bowlers he should fill his boots even more this summer. Another reason why Prince looks set for a good summer is Lancashire only play one match at Liverpool and that is made up with the fact they play Glamorgan on the road in Colwyn Bay rather than the sticky Cardiff wicket. Lancashire have more depth and quality to their batting to support Prince this year but Prince, who has no international commitments is the one to beat this season in my eyes. One man who should go well at a decent price is Moeen Ali at Worcestershire. With Vikram Solanki having moved on in the winter a lot more responsibility will be placed on the talented left hander’s shoulders. Ali has all the shots and should be too good for much of this division. Last time he played in Division Two he cleared 1000 runs and if he can do that again this season, and there’s no reason why he can’t as he’s a better player now than he was then, he can give us a run for our money at 40/1. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/county-championship-division-two-betting-ashwell-prince-looks-the-batsman-to-beat-in-second-division-20130410

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Re: County Championship 2013 Top bowlers: 1.5pts ew T.Roland-Jones Top Division One Bowler 18/1 Stan James (1/4 1-5) Toby Roland-Jones is well thought of at Middlesex and if Gus Fraser is singing his praises then you know he is good. The last one he did that to is Steven Finn and he hasn't done badly for himself. Of course Roland-Jones will have more competition in Middlesex colours this season with James Harris having signed but I still think there is plenty of wickets for him to take this season. Roland-Jones was third in this market last season and the two who finished above him - Graham Onions and Chris Wright - could both have England call ups during the season to concern them. It won't be long before Roland-Jones is on the England radar but he isn't yet which is good for Middlesex and good for us as he looks an excellent price to go a couple better than last season now that he knows what a county season is all about. 1.5pts ew D.Balcombe Top Division Two Bowler 12/1 Stan James (1/4 1-5) David Balcombe was the top wicket taker in this division last season and he made a massive impact in a two month spell with Kent the season before so he knows how to get batsmen out at this level. Balcombe is still improving too and I expect Hampshire to see even more improvement from him this summer. The wickets at the Ageas Bowl might just have a bit more grass on them with Hampshire desperate to get promoted so I expect Balcombe to go very well, especially early in the season. Saeed Ajmal might take a few wickets off him next season but he was five better than anyone who played in Division Two last season and given the improvement he has in him and the extra pace he will have put on I think 12/1 is an acceptable price for a repeat for a bowler who is probably too good for this division. 0.5pts ew T.Mills Top Division Two Bowler 50/1 Stan James (1/4 1-5) Tymal Mills is worth a poke at this price. He is one of the quickest bowlers in county cricket at the minute and we've seen pace bowlers do well in this market in the past as Stuart Meaker among others have taken the division by storm. Essex have named Mills in their opening match team so he will be in from the start and he'll be troubling batsmen up and down the country with his pace. He is still young, still learning and still improving so this may be a season to soon for him but with Masters not getting any younger Essex need someone to step up and lead the attack and it could just be this confident and ultra pacey youngster.

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Re: County Championship 2013 Some team season top bats. 2pts B.Stokes Top Durham Batsman 4/1 Boylesports Can't add anything else to what Mdivenuto has said about Ben Stokes. He bats high enough to make an impact in the Durham batting line up and he's the most talented in it. He isn't going to get called up for England so barring injury he should go very close. 2pts C.Read Top Nottinghamshire Batsman 5/1 Boylesports Chris Read is a batsman I like. He's very underrated with the bat in my eyes. He was Nottinghamshire's top scorer last season and they haven't improved a great deal in that area to suggest he can't top score this season. England are going to take Alex Hales and Michael Lumb away at some part of the summer even if it is only for T20 matches while James Taylor will make an England/England Lions squad along the way and Samit Patel should remain in or around England's one day set up so the only one with a real clear run is Chris Read which makes the 5/1 on him being the top batsman a bit daft. David Hussey and Ed Cowan share overseas duty so we don't have to worry about those which makes Chris Read an even better looking top batsman proposition to me. 5pts G.Smith Top Surrey Batsman 7/2 Stan James Can't help but feel this price is wrong, especially when Vikram Solanki is a shorter price. Sure Smith will miss some matches but Vikram Solanki has done nothing at all in pre-season and a lot of Surrey fans are calling for Gary Wilson to play from the start of the season. If that happens then that will benefit Smith as Wilson will be away with Ireland at various stages in the season. There's the likes of Burns, de Bruyn, Davies if he can find his form and Roy to worry Smith but I would be surprised if Surrey's captain doesn't outscore them in the time he is with Surrey. Smith is a real class act at this level and this price just looks too big even allowing for the fact he'll miss some matches. 3pts S.Northeast Top Kent Batsman 4/1 Stan James Sam Northeast was the only man in the top run scorers in Division Two last season to average over 50 and had he played the full season he would have surely top scored in the entire division let alone at Kent. He will play from the off this season and having had a taste of what county cricket is like he should have improved for that too. Rob Key is a huge danger in this market now that his captaincy pressures are off him while Darren Stevens and Brendan Nash will keep it competitive but it's hard not to like Sam Northeast as a batsman and opening the batting at Kent is a good position to bat and he looks overpriced at 4/1 to me. 2pts D.Sales Top Northamptonshire Batsman 11/2 Stan James Here's my annual back David Sales bet. If David Sales goes all season without injury then he's a 5/2 shot at best in this market in my eyes. Stephen Peters is the main danger on runs history but he's the captain this year and being a first year captain he might get bogged down a bit, especially if Northants are struggling this season. David Sales is a classy classy batsman but injuries have dogged him. He played most of last season and had a good pre-season so if he can just avoid injuries he looks a big price in what is still a light and fairly young Northants batting line up.

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Re: County Championship 2013 Last outright. 2pts Derbyshire to beat Yorkshire & Durham (Group C) 11/2 BetVictor This is a daft price. While Derbyshire aren't as established as their two opponents here they aren't no hopers either. For starters they beat Yorkshire in the table last year and while Yorkshire have strengthened their bowling attack their batting line up is significantly weakened. Derbyshire have massively strengthened their batting and I think they have the bowling attack to stand up to this division. Durham are an aging side who's batting line up has more than a touch of collapse about it while their bowling attack isn't the one it was a few years ago. I'm not saying this is a cert or anything but how they get 11/2 out of it I've no idea so it's worth a small bet as I believe Derbyshire are no worse than the two they take on here.

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Re: County Championship 2013 First week odds :nana. Division One: [TABLE=class: couponTable]

[TR] [TH=class: firstColumn]Wednesday 10 April 2013[/TH] [TH]Home[/TH] [TH]Away[/TH] [TH=class: bppWidth]BPP[/TH] [/TR] [TR=class: row0] [TD]maximize.gif[/TD] [TD=class: firstColumn]Durham v Somerset (11:00 BST)[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]2[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]1.9[/TD] [TD=class: bppWidth bpp]102.38 %[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [/TR] [TR=class: row1] [TD]maximize.gif[/TD] [TD=class: firstColumn]Nottinghamshire v Middlesex (11:00 BST)[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]1.73[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]2.25[/TD] [TD=class: bppWidth bpp]102.25 %[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [/TR] [TR=class: row0] [TD]maximize.gif[/TD] [TD=class: firstColumn]Warwickshire v Derbyshire (11:00 BST)[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]1.5[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]3[/TD] [TD=class: bppWidth bpp]100.00 %[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [/TR] [TR=class: row1] [TD]maximize.gif[/TD] [TD=class: firstColumn]Yorkshire v Sussex (11:00 BST)[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]1.9[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]2.02[/TD] [TD=class: bppWidth bpp]101.89 %[/TD] [/TR] [/TABLE] Division Two: [TABLE=class: couponTable] [TR] [TH=class: firstColumn]Wednesday 10 April 2013[/TH] [TH]Home[/TH] [TH]Away[/TH] [TH=class: bppWidth]BPP[/TH] [/TR] [TR=class: row0] [TD]maximize.gif[/TD] [TD=class: firstColumn]Essex v Gloucestershire (11:00 BST)[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]1.57[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]2.58[/TD] [TD=class: bppWidth bpp]102.40 %[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [/TR] [TR=class: row1] [TD]maximize.gif[/TD] [TD=class: firstColumn]Glamorgan v Northamptonshire (11:00 BST)[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]1.83[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]2.1[/TD] [TD=class: bppWidth bpp]102.16 %[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [/TR] [TR=class: row0] [TD]maximize.gif[/TD] [TD=class: firstColumn]Hampshire v Leicestershire (11:00 BST)[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]1.5[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]3.05[/TD] [TD=class: bppWidth bpp]99.45 %[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [/TR] [TR=class: row1] [TD]maximize.gif[/TD] [TD=class: firstColumn]Lancashire v Worcestershire (11:00 BST)[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]1.57[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]2.88[/TD] [TD=class: bppWidth bpp]98.36 %[/TD] [/TR] [/TABLE]
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Re: County Championship 2013 Looking to get off to a solid start. Taking 2 this week. Hopefully we get some good weather. Won't go too much into reasoning as most of it at this stage of the season is in my outright previews. Reminded that all match bets are DNB in county cricket unless I state otherwise. 4pts Sussex to beat Yorkshire Evs Ladbrokes I like Sussex in this match. Although they miss Matt Prior and Luke Wright they have a solid batting line up and a long batting line up while Chris Jordan adds an extra cutting edge to their bowling attack. Try as I might I can't get away from this Yorkshire batting line up which doesn't look full of runs even with Bairstow around. This is Yorkshire's first game back in Division 1 so there could be a few nerves around and with no Joe Root they have a big hole in their side. Rory Hamilton-Brown and Chris Jordan strengthen Sussex sufficiently to merit taking them at even money. 4pts Glamorgan to beat Northamptonshire 5/6 Paddy Power Glamorgan will unleash Murray Goodwin and Michael Hogan on Northants here and Marcus North is around too so their batting looks very strong and their bowling isn't too bad either. Northants have one or two issues in their bowling attack but Trent Copeland is in place and ready to start the season. Northants aren't used to winning matches and would have liked a home match first I'm sure. Glamorgan look stronger with the bat and the ball and I think they'll open the season with a win in this match.

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Re: County Championship 2013 One last outright. Won't go overboard on the write up as I've overloaded this thread. 1pt ew Glamorgan to win Division Two 20/1 Sportingbet (1/4 1-3) I think Glamorgan are worth a small each way bet because even if Hampshire and Lancashire dominate the division like they should there is still third place up for grabs. I've written throughout this thread how I see Glamorgan being more competitive this season and gettingfatter has echoed those views. There's often a surprise in this division. Derbyshire were last year's ones while Kent were surprise packages given their standing before a ball was bowled and I see Glamorgan as this year's Kent. They have added a solid batsman to the ranks and a top quality bowler and those two things alone make them a competitive side let alone the talent that is around them. As I've said in my preview right at the start the eyes of the world are on Cardiff this season and that can inspire Glamorgan to a real promotion challenge. At this price they more than merit small each way support.

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Re: County Championship 2013

Last outright. 2pts Derbyshire to beat Yorkshire & Durham (Group C) 11/2 BetVictor This is a daft price. While Derbyshire aren't as established as their two opponents here they aren't no hopers either. For starters they beat Yorkshire in the table last year and while Yorkshire have strengthened their bowling attack their batting line up is significantly weakened. Derbyshire have massively strengthened their batting and I think they have the bowling attack to stand up to this division. Durham are an aging side who's batting line up has more than a touch of collapse about it while their bowling attack isn't the one it was a few years ago. I'm not saying this is a cert or anything but how they get 11/2 out of it I've no idea so it's worth a small bet as I believe Derbyshire are no worse than the two they take on here.
Thanks for your Write-Ups Kevshat! Group C at Betvictor is Yorkshire, Sussex and Derbyshire. I don´t know if it has changed overnight!
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Re: County Championship 2013 Couple of top bowlers in division one to add: Palladino 33/1 & Rushworth 40/1 each-way at 365 (only 4 places unfortunately) Similar reasoning for both - stay fit and in form and we are getting 16 games out of both as I can't imagine England will come calling for either, and neither Durham or Derby have the same rotation policy for the seamers employed by some other counties. Playing on seamer friendly wickets with low totals likely, particularly early season, is a big boost, and at the price both look very worth an each-way shot to me.

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Re: County Championship 2013 And just had the bet that will secure my retirement fund at Coral. Stokes Top Division 1 bat 50/1 Ali Top Division 2 bat 40/1 Each-way double, I've out-lined by love of Stokes above, and can't argue with Kev's assessment of Ali's chances.

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Re: County Championship 2013 [TABLE=class: couponTable]

[TR] [TH=class: firstColumn]Wednesday 17 April 2013[/TH] [TH]Home[/TH] [TH]Away[/TH] [TH=class: bppWidth]BPP[/TH] [/TR] [TR=class: row0] [TD]maximize.gif[/TD] [TD=class: firstColumn]Middlesex v Derbyshire (11:00 BST)[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]1.49[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]3[/TD] [TD=class: bppWidth bpp]100.45 %[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [/TR] [TR=class: row1] [TD]maximize.gif[/TD] [TD=class: firstColumn]Surrey v Somerset (11:00 BST)[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]1.9[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]2.1[/TD] [TD=class: bppWidth bpp]100.00 %[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [/TR] [TR=class: row0] [TD]maximize.gif[/TD] [TD=class: firstColumn]Warwickshire v Durham (11:00 BST)[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]1.72[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]2.28[/TD] [TD=class: bppWidth bpp]101.75 %[/TD] [/TR] [/TABLE] [TABLE=class: couponTable] [TR] [TH=class: firstColumn]Wednesday 17 April 2013[/TH] [TH]Home[/TH] [TH]Away[/TH] [TH=class: bppWidth]BPP[/TH] [/TR] [TR=class: row0] [TD]maximize.gif[/TD] [TD=class: firstColumn] Glamorgan v Worcestershire (11:00 BST) [/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd] 2.25 [/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd] 1.83 [/TD] [TD=class: bppWidth bpp]98.99 %[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [/TR] [TR=class: row1] [TD]maximize.gif[/TD] [TD=class: firstColumn] Leicestershire v Kent (11:00 BST) [/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd] 2.62 [/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd] 1.61 [/TD] [TD=class: bppWidth bpp]100.00 %[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [/TR] [TR=class: row0] [TD]maximize.gif[/TD] [TD=class: firstColumn] Northamptonshire v Essex (11:00 BST) [/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd] 2.1 [/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd] 1.9 [/TD] [TD=class: bppWidth bpp]100.00 %[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [/TR] [/TABLE]
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Re: County Championship 2013 +4 for the first week of the season after the weather saved me in Cardiff. Going with two for this week. 4pts Somerset to beat Surrey 11/10 Coral Somerset look good value to me in this match despite their defeat at Durham last week. That defeat was pretty much condemned by a poor first innings when they had to bat in some pretty horrible conditions. They won't get those conditions here and their batting line up has been reinforced with the additions of Alviro Petersen, who hit a big hundred for Glamorgan on this ground a couple of years ago, and Nick Compton who top scored in the division last season. With Alfonso Thomas available from the start of the season and George Dockrell a very underrated bowler I like the look of Somerset. Surrey will be led for the first time by Graeme Smith in this match but their batting line up hasn't scored many runs in the warm up matches to the season with Vikram Solanki a player in particular who had a dry pre-season. The likes of Burns and Harinath are good young players but they will need to deliver straight away. Surrey's bowling attack looks good but it will need to perform well to keep this Somerset batting line up in check. I just worry about Surrey's batting, particularly if Smith takes a game to get going and with Somerset likely to improve from their run out last week they look good value in this one. 4pts Northamptonshire to beat Essex 11/10 William Hill Northamptonshire dominated their match against Glamorgan last week before the weather intervened but I think they can go well again this week against a very young Essex side. Essex will be missing David Masters who is the leader of their attack and the man who restricts the opposition's run rate so if they are not careful this match could get away from Essex. Northants have a young bowling attack but in Andrew Hall and Trent Copeland they have a couple of experienced seamers who should go well in this match while James Middlebrook will look to go well against his former side. Both batting line ups are in good form but Essex's is a young batting side with Foakes and Westley still young and Rob Quiney not fully settled in yet. It's their young attack which has question marks over it though and with Northants settled with bat and ball and after Gloucestershire dominated against Essex last week I think the home side look a touch too big at 11/10 here.

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Re: County Championship 2013 Missed the first round of fixtures due to uni work but had a look this week and taking my first few for the season. Super previews as always Kev :ok Warwickshire to beat Durham- 8/11 Stan James- (5/10) Price isn't great on the defending champs but it's a fair bit higher than most firms have it. Warwickshire didn't get a chance to play too much cricket last week against Derbyshire but all of their bowlers were amongst the wickets and Chopra and Westwood hit half centuries as well. Chris Woakes and Keith Barker, who had a terrific campaign last season are available for this game which will boost both batting and bowling departments. Durham beat Somerset last week much thanks to Onions and Rushworth with the conditions favouring them when they bowled in the first innings. It was a good result to be fair, but the conditions won't be the same this time around and Warwickshire will be eager to record their first win of the season on home soil. Having Woakes and Barker available really do provide an extremely strong and balanced side, whilst Durham's batting still worries me a bit. They weren't great in that respect against Somerset, falling to a poor score in the second innings and Warwickshire just look the much better side to me here. Somerset to beat Surrey- Evens Bet365- (4/10) With Kev on this one and agree with everything he's said. Surrey had all sorts of problems last season with the tragic events of Tom Maynard and then skipper Hamilton-Brown has departed for Sussex in the winter. They have recruited Graham Smith and Solanki who are two really experienced and classy batsman but with the rest of their batting so inexperienced now Mark Ramprakash has gone as well, if those two fail to score I just fear for them in terms of runs. That's something that Somerset won't struggle with you feel despite last week's result against Durham. Alviro Peterson is back for them today to strengthen up the batting lineup whilst Nick Compton is in the squad as well. Surrey's bowling attack is the stronger you'd say but against this Somerset batting lineup, it has to be as there's always classy batsman to come. Like I said, if Smith struggles in his Surrey debut with the bat, I don't think they'll have enough runs about them to get them through this one so I'm backing Somerset in this one. Essex to beat Northants- 10/11 Ladbrokes- (4/10) Even without David Masters, I still fancy Essex here. Reece Topley replaces Masters and he is very well thought of and has done well for the England U19s and is a very promising talent. From last season though, Northants were extremely inconsistent in their performances and do rely on certain players far too much. Without Jack Brooks and Chaminda Vaas, their bowling attack is very very weak now and it puts so much pressure on Trent Copeland and Andrew Hall to perform. Without them going well, Essex could really fill their boots with runs and they've got quality in their batting lineup to do just that. Northants always strike me as inconsistent after last season, and despite a good performance against Glamorgan where they dominated, Essex are a far better side and I think they'll take this one. Worcestershire to beat Glamorgan- 4/5 Ladbrokes- (5/10) Happy to back Worcestershire here. They were badly affected by a virus running through their side against Lancashire last week but they look to be over that here and batting wise, they went well anyway. They have some quality batsman amongst their ranks including Moeen Ali and Samaraweera whilst Alan Richardson is always amongst the wickets for them. Glamorgan were absolutely hammered by Northants last week before the weather came to their rescue but their side looks far weaker than Worcestershire's. If they are to go well, Marcus North will have to score runs of plenty, whilst although they have Murray Goodwin on their books now, he looked to show his age a bit last season so they'll hope he can score well. Bowling wise I don't really fancy them, and with the disappointment of last season and relegation for Worcestershire, I think they will bounce back a touch here and take this one.

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Re: County Championship 2013 Week 3 odds. Somerset vs Warwickshire is on Sky. [TABLE=class: couponTable]

[TR] [TH][/TH] [TH=class: firstColumn]Wednesday 24 April 2013[/TH] [TH]Home[/TH] [TH]Away[/TH] [TH=class: bppWidth]BPP[/TH] [/TR] [TR=class: row0] [TD]maximize.gif[/TD] [TD=class: firstColumn]Derbyshire v Nottinghamshire (11:00 BST)[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]3[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]1.47[/TD] [TD=class: bppWidth bpp]101.36 %[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [/TR] [TR=class: row1] [TD]maximize.gif[/TD] [TD=class: firstColumn]Durham v Yorkshire (11:00 BST)[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]1.81[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]2.2[/TD] [TD=class: bppWidth bpp]100.70 %[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [/TR] [TR=class: row0] [TD]maximize.gif[/TD] [TD=class: firstColumn]Surrey v Sussex (11:00 BST)[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]1.81[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]2.2[/TD] [TD=class: bppWidth bpp]100.70 %[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [/TR] [TR] [TH] [/TH] [TH=class: firstColumn]Thursday 25 April 2013[/TH] [TH]Home[/TH] [TH]Away[/TH] [TH=class: bppWidth]BPP[/TH] [/TR] [TR=class: row0] [TD]maximize.gif[/TD] [TD=class: firstColumn]Somerset v Warwickshire (11:00 BST)[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]2.1[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]2[/TD] [TD=class: bppWidth bpp]97.62 %[/TD] [/TR] [/TABLE] [TABLE=class: couponTable] [TR] [TH][/TH] [TH=class: firstColumn]Wednesday 24 April 2013[/TH] [TH]Home[/TH] [TH]Away[/TH] [TH=class: bppWidth]BPP[/TH] [/TR] [TR=class: row0] [TD]maximize.gif[/TD] [TD=class: firstColumn]Gloucestershire v Northamptonshire (11:00 BST)[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]2.16[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]1.8[/TD] [TD=class: bppWidth bpp]101.85 %[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [/TR] [TR=class: row1] [TD]maximize.gif[/TD] [TD=class: firstColumn]Hampshire v Worcestershire (11:00 BST)[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]1.53[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]3[/TD] [TD=class: bppWidth bpp]98.55 %[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [/TR] [TR=class: row0] [TD]maximize.gif[/TD] [TD=class: firstColumn]Lancashire v Kent (11:00 BST)[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]1.72[/TD] [TD=class: selectionBestOdd]2.5[/TD] [TD=class: bppWidth bpp]97.89 %[/TD] [/TR] [/TABLE]
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Re: County Championship 2013 +8.4 for the season now after Northants' win last week. 3 for Wednesday's matches. 5pts Yorkshire to beat Durham 6/5 Stan James As I've said before I don't rate Yorkshire's chances much this season but that is purely down to their lack of batting depth over the whole of the season. That isn't an issue this week though because Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root are available as is Tim Bresnan so their batting looks a whole lot more solid. Azeem Rafiq is out injured so Adil Rashid looks likely to play which is no bad thing because the ball isn't likely to turn much in Durham in April and Rashid scored a ton in the friendly with Lancashire last week so Yorkshire's batting looks very strong. Durham's batting looks a real issue at the minute and but for a couple of decent innings from Paul Collingwood and Scott Borthwick last week the size of their defeat could have been double what it was and but for a tail wag in week one they could have lost too. Durham's bowling attack is definitely their strength but as a unit it is no stronger than Yorkshire's so with the oomph in the Yorkshire batting this week the Vikings (:rollin) have to be a bet. 4pts Sussex to beat Surrey 6/5 Boylesports I like Sussex again this week too. Chris Jordan hit the ground running in Leeds a couple of weeks ago and that is no surprise to me as I intimated in my previews. If anyone is going to be up for going well this week it will be him and Rory Hamilton-Brown. Matt Prior bolsters the Sussex batting line up which is a big boost particularly as their attack looks nicely balanced and pretty strong with Monty Panesar around. Surrey's bowling attack wasn't at its best last week and it will need to improve this week but there are no changes to their squad which is pretty strange. These two look pretty evenly matched but with the potential needle involved after RHB's words when he left Surrey, Sussex might play the more controlled criggit and see the job through in this one. 5pts Northants to beat Gloucestershire 4/5 Stan James Northamptonshire have begun the season nicely and they have to have the longest batting line up in the country with Copeland batting at 11 with an average of over 20 and with a First-class ton not to mention his 70 odd last week. Not only is their batting good but they have some good bowling options too. If you was being picky you'd say they lack a spinner but this is Bristol in April. You won't need too many overs of spin. Gloucestershire went very well against Essex in week one but I think Essex proved last week that they couldn't bowl a set of toddlers out so perhaps Gloucestershire's form in that match wasn't as good as it was made out to be. Technically their batsmen should be full of confidence but this is a much tougher attack that they'll face. The issue Gloucestershire could have is in their bowling attack which is very light and very young and missing one or two players too. Northants are clearly buzzing right now and they can make it back to back wins here.

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Re: County Championship 2013 One more for this week in the TV game. 5pts Warwickshire to beat Somerset 10/11 Skybet Warwickshire look a good bet to me in this match. They have all bases covered. They bat a long way down with Woakes coming in at eight with a First-class average of just under 40. The champions also have the better bowling attack too which is another reason to like them. Somerset’s batting runs out of genuine four day quality quite a long way up and their bowling attack while not complete cannon fodder isn’t of the standard of Warwickshire’s so at 10/11 the Bears are the bet here. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/somerset-vs-warwickshire-betting-warwickshire-can-continue-the-good-start-to-their-title-defence-20130424

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