The examinations keep on coming for the County

Olly Stone could return for the County Championship clash with Middlesex after missing the trip to Trent Bridge
Olly Stone could return for the County Championship clash with Middlesex after missing the trip to Trent Bridge
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Another week, another tough challenge.

That sums up the scenario facing Northamptonshire in Division One of the LV= County Championship this season.

The statistics paint a grim picture with three defeats from four and a miserly tally of 19 points and already they are 23 points adrift at the foot of the standings.

Next up for the County is the visit of Middlesex, who are lying in third place, tomorrow (Sunday) and captain Stephen Peters knows what is coming.

He said: “They’re another strong team with plenty of good, international players.

“They’ve been a bit hot and cold with a few cracking wins and a couple of poor defeats but we know what they’re all about.

“Chris Rogers is obviously a key wicket and in Steven Finn, Tim Murtagh and James Harris they’ve got quality seam bowlers.

“But from our point of view, we’ve got to start putting some points on the board and be good enough to do that.

“At the moment we’re not playing well enough and that has to change.

Peters has indicated that there could be a couple of changes to the line-up, one of whom could be new overseas signing Ian Butler.

The New Zealander has joined the club until the end of July and Peters is glad to have him on board.

“He’s a decent cricketer and a good guy,” he said.

“He’s got international experience and with the one-day stuff starting we needed another body on the ground and we’ve got that.

“With all respect to Ian, the days of phoning up Brett Lee or Mitchell Johnson and asking them if they fancy a couple of months in county cricket have long gone.

“We’re happy with Ian and hopefully he can show us what he can do.”

Northants from: Peters, Middlebrook, Sales, Spriegel, Newton, Hall, Duckett, Murphy, Stone, Coetzer, Chambers, Azharullah, Crook, Butler.