There will definitely be a battle within a battle when leaders Yorkshire return to LV= County Championship action against Sussex at Scarborough tomorrow, the first of four remaining matches for them.
Opening bowler Jack Brooks has 49 Championship wickets this season, leaving him second on the list of leading wicket-takers in Division One. He is just two behind Sussex new ball bowler Steve Magoffin, the experienced Australian.
Brooks has definitely been a success in a Yorkshire shirt since signing from Northamptonshire ahead of last season. Although injury restricted him to only eleven matches in 2013, he still managed to take 34 wickets.
This summer has been by far and away Oxford-born Brooks’s most fruitful of his six in first-class cricket, beating 2011 when he took 43 in nine four-day matches for Northants.
Magoffin, 34-years-old, has topped 50 wickets in each of his first three seasons in a Sussex shirt having swapped Sheffield Shield cricket with Queensland for the Championship ahead of 2012.
“They are both fantastic bowlers, and hopefully Jack can continue his good form,” said White Rose coach Jason Gillespie.
“He’s worked really hard on his bowling, and he’s worked incredibly hard to keep himself nice and fit and strong for this last part of the season.
“He’s excited, as we all are about the challenge and the opportunities the last few games may present.”
Sussex are firmly placed in mid-table having won a third of their 12 matches, including winning their last two matches against Northants and Warwickshire at Hove and Horsham last month.
Yorkshire are five points clear of Nottinghamshire having won their last outing against Middlesex at Scarborough, in which 30-year-old Brooks took 3-30 from 16 overs in the second innings.
Another Yorkshire player looking to maintain his recent run of good form is batsman Jack Leaning, who started Festival week with a bang on Monday by scoring his maiden first-team century in the one-day defeat against Essex.
Twenty-year-old Leaning hit 76 in the second innings of the win over Middlesex, one of three fifties in the Championship so far this season.
His highest of those was 99 in the draw against Sussex at Arundel in June.
“Jack got his 99 down at Arundel, and he was bitterly disappointed,” added Gillespie. “But, as I explained to him then, it was one run, and I told him not to under-estimate the value of his contribution to the team.
“It will go down in the scorebook as a 50, when it was 99, but it was a wonderful knock.
Now he’s got his first hundred for the first team – and it was a good hundred as well – hopefully it is the first of many for him.”
Yorkshire have named the same squad that defeated Middlesex last month.
Yorkshire squad versus Sussex:
Bairstow+, Bresnan, Brooks, Gale*, Leaning, Lees, Lyth, Patterson, Pyrah, Rashid, Sidebottom, Williamson.