CAMBS v STAFFS PREVIEW 130817
Staffordshire make the trip to play Cambridgeshire at Wisbech Cricket Club in their final match of the season starting this Sunday still harbouring outside hopes of ending the season as Eastern Division champions but knowing that current leaders Lincolnshire are odds on favourites for the title as they only need to take seven points from their last game at home to Lincolnshire to retain the title.
Despite being unbeaten in all their five championship matches played to date, and having gained 75 points, Staffs trail Lincs by 18 points and with both Cumberland and Suffolk also unbeaten so far and just 3 and 5 points behind Staffs, there remains a lot to play for as the teams battle to end the season on a high.
After their excellent and tense victory, over Hertfordshire last time out, Staffs make one change with Moddershall & Oulton skipper Sam Kelsall returning to the starting line-up in place of Danny Brierley, who made a welcome return to the Staffs set up for the game at Checkley. Retaining his place in the side is Porthill Park’s Ryan Hassett, who marked his debut with an excellent century in his first appearance for Staffs at this level.
Captain Kadeer Ali will be looking to add to the total of 626 runs he has scored in his 9 championship innings this season which has seen him record three centuries. Leading the way for Staffs on the bowling front is left-arm spinner Paul Byrne who has taken 25 wickets at a cost of 19.48.
Captained by Paul McMahon hosts Cambridgeshire have named an unchanged side following their drawn encounter with Buckinghamshire last time out and are currently in 7th place in the table with 56 points having won 1 lost 1 and drawn 3.
Play starts at 11am on Sunday and continues on the Monday & Tuesday.
Staffs team Kadeer Ali (West Bromwich Dartmouth), Sam Kelsall (Moddershall & Oulton), Ryan Hassett (Porthill Park), Ross Coates (Wood Lane), Tim Maxfield (Whitmore), Peter Wilshaw (Meakins), Michael Hill (Whitmore), Mitchell Spencer (Leek), Dan Richardson (Leek), Paul Byrne (Walsall), Greg Willott (Bagnall/Norton).
By Allan Smith