Matthew Fisher believes Yorkshire could be facing one of the top three teams in the country when Durham visit his favourite venue Scarborough this week.

Before Yorkshire’s 10th match of this season’s LV= Insurance County Championship starts tomorrow (11am), the county’s new ball quick has heaped praise on the current runaway Division Two leaders from the North East.

When the match gets underway, the 25-year-old England fringe bowler will bid to heap misery on them – just like he did to Somerset at North Marine Road in 2021 when he claimed stunning match figures of 9-64 in a two-day win.

Yorkshire head to Scarbados bidding for win number two this season following a couple of near misses in the last fortnight. They drove games against Worcestershire at New Road and Sussex at Headingley, only for rain to deny them.

The latest came against Sussex last week, a match in which Fisher claimed an excellent 4-69 in the first innings.

Yorkshire are sixth in the table with 91 points after nine games, 22 behind second-placed Sussex, who have played 10. They hold the second promotion place at present. 

Durham, meanwhile, have won five of 10 games and have 167 points. Alex Lees and company are all but assured of promotion already.

“I’ve been chatting to a few people about this, and I think at the minute Durham could give Surrey and Hampshire – the two best teams in Division One – a really good game,” said Fisher.

“They probably will go up, and when they do I’d be tipping them to be in the top three. That’s how good I think their team is if they have all their bowlers available.

“Maybe they haven’t got the depth of a Surrey, but their first choice bowling attack is very good. 

“It’s going to be a good test, and I can’t wait.”

Durham drew a high-scoring clash with Derbyshire at Derby last week when that bowling attack was made up of seamers Ben Raine, Matty Potts, Migael Pretorius and Brydon Carse. On-loan leg-spinner Matthew Parkinson provides the spin option. 

Next season’s Matthew’s twin brother Callum, the Leicestershire left-arm spinner, will move to Durham on a permanent contract whilst Matthew swaps Lancashire for a similar move down south to Kent.

Scarborough holds fond memories for Fisher.

In June 2013, the Sheriff Hutton Bridge star became the youngest post war county cricketer when he debuted in a one-day match against Leicester aged 15 years and 212 days. He claimed one wicket in a three-wicket defeat.

Fast forward to early September 2021 and Fisher tormented Somerset in a Division One Championship clash, claiming 5-41 in the first innings and 4-23.

Matthew Fisher

Picture by Will Palmer/ Matthew Fisher celebrates a wicket against Somerset in 2021.

“I think that’s the best I’ve ever bowled there, and I love bowling there because you get carry,” said Fisher. 

“A lot of my bowling’s down to swinging it and trying to get nicks. The odd lbw is the Plan B. You’re setting them up all the time with your swing to try and nick them off. 

“The bounce and the carry there suits my bowling, I feel.

“At Scarborough, you can sometimes bowl too short because of the bounce. It’s still about pitching it up and getting it fuller and getting people driving.

“I find it a really nice venue to bowl at.”

This is the first of back-to-back Championship games at Scarborough.

After the five-week break for the forthcoming Metro Bank One-Day Cup, Yorkshire face Derbyshire in Festival week, starting on Sunday September 3.

Fisher added: “People ask me what’s your favourite ground, and I always say, ‘Scarborough’. Obviously you say, ‘It would be great to play at Lord’s and stuff like that’. But Scarborough for cricket is amazing.”

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