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Northamptonshire's must-win game to avoid relegation
Kent to win
Tournament: County Championship Divison One | Format: 4-DAY TEST | Venue: County Ground, Northampton, England | Toss: To BowlBet Now
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Northamptonshire has to fight hard to avoid sitting at the bottom of the points table as they face Kent in the 37th County Championship Division One 2023 game. The hosts come here with a big loss against Hampshire. Kent also had a poor outing in the last game against Surrey, where they lost from a position of strength.
Kent won the earlier game they had played against Northamptonshire, which will add to the side's confidence. They have their batsmen in good form and shall aim to win this game and move up on the points table. A loss here can put Northamptonshire on course of relegation to Division 2, and they need to avoid that at all costs.
Sam Whiteman's side sits at the bottom of the championship points table. They have won one game and lost four. The side comes here with innings and a 135-run loss against Hampshire. They must perform well here to avoid staying at the bottom. Whiteman would like to see a determined effort from his players.
It was a forgettable batting show from the side in the last game, and they will need a good start from Hasan Azad and Emilio Gay. Whiteman must bring his experience to play and steer the middle order along with Rob Keogh and Ricardo Vasconcelos. Saif Zaib, James Sales, and Tom Taylor shall look to do well down the order.
Jordan Buckingham and Jack White must get early breakthroughs, as Kent has a very strong batting line-up. The side will also need good spells from Tom Taylor and James Seals to keep up the pressure on the opponents. Rob Keogh and Alex Russell add to the side's bowling options, and they must do well.
Sam Whiteman (c), Hasan Azad, Emilio Gay, Rob Keogh, Ricardo Vasconcelos (wk), Saif Zaib, James Sales, Tom Taylor, Jordan Buckingham, Jack White, Alex Russell
Jack Leaning and his team would like to get over the misery of the last game against Surrey, where they went down by 5 wickets. They failed to defend more than 500 runs in the 4th innings and now have claims to an undesirable record. Their batsmen have done well, and Leaning shall like them to deliver the goods in this game.
Ben Compton has scored 450 plus runs this year, and he will look to provide a solid start in this game along with Tawanda Muyeye. They have a strong middle order and need runs from Leaning, Daniel Bell-Drummond, and Joe Denly. Jordan Cox hit a hundred in the last game and will look to add runs down the order with Joey Evison and Hamidullah Qadri.
Their bowlers have to come out of the miserable outing in the last game, and the team will need good spells from Matthew Quinn and Wes Agar with the new ball. Arshdeep Singh hasn't had an impressive run and must prove a point in this game. Hamidullah Qadri, Evison, and Denly add variety to this attack.
Jack Leaning (c), Tawanda Muyeye, Ben Compton, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Joe Denly, Jordan Cox (wk), Joey Evison, Hamidullah Qadri, Wes Agar, Arshdeep Singh, Matthew Quinn
There would be cloud cover over Northampton starting June 25. The pitch has soaked in moisture in the last few days, making batting slightly challenging as the bowlers can extract good seam and bounce here. The side that bats first would be cautious in its approach and must have 350 runs on the board.
County Ground, Northampton, is a good venue for this format as it balances it out between the batsmen and bowlers. Bowlers who can swing the ball have done well at this venue. Batsmen must spend time at the crease and get used to the conditions to earn rewards. Spinners have to be smart to grab wickets here, as this track has very little margin for error.
There is assistance for the bowlers in the first two days of the game, and the wicket eases as the game progresses. Most teams have won games chasing a 4th innings score. Hence, the side winning the toss won't hesitate to bowl first.
Northamptonshire are the defending champions, but the side will miss a few key players in this game due to injury, which hurts their balance. They need to bat well to win this game. Kent plays at home and enjoys a good record at this venue. They lost just one home game last year, which makes them favourites.
Kent to win
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