DURHAM will hope to inflict Sussex’s third defeat in three games in the Royal London Cup when they visit Hove for a 2pm start today.
After also losing their first two games, Durham opened their account with a win against Warwickshire and need another victory either today or at Cardiff on Friday to set them up for next week’s run of three home games.
Scott Borthwick is likely to return in place of Ben Stokes, who has rejoined the England squad ahead of the fourth Test. If he is again left out he should be able to play in Sunday’s home match against Middlesex.
Explaining Borthwick’s omission against Warwickshire, one-day captain Mark Stoneman said: “He hasn’t had much bowling recently and with a 10.30 start we decided to go with the extra seamer.
“We felt we could keep them under pressure for longer that way if we had the chance to bowl first. Throughout the Twenty20s and in the first two Royal London games the bowlers did well up front but couldn’t finish off. We did that much better against Warwickshire, so we hope that was a turning point.”
Durham have added Paul Coughlin to the squad in case they need another seamer but, like Warwickshire, Sussex have been using three spinners because of injuries to James Anyon and Luke Wright, plus the absence of Chris Jordan on England duty.
Wright picked up a side strain in his record-breaking unbeaten knock of 153 against Essex Eagles in the final NatWest T20 Blast match.
Sussex will include former Pakistan paceman Yasir Arafat, who has played for five counties as well as Scotland.
He took three for 36 in ten overs in last week’s heavy defeat by Warwickshire.
Also in the line-up is batsman Craig Cachopa, who was born in South Africa but captained New Zealand in the 2010 Under 19 World Cup.
Durham’s left-arm seamer Jamie Harrison returned to action yesterday in a Second X1 Trophy game against Nottinghamshire at South Northumberland. He has been sidelined since mid- May, while Mark Wood is also back after limited outings in the last two months.
Both will play again when the teams meet at the same venue in a Second X1 Championship match starting today.