County Championship: Glamorgan prepare to face Ben Stokes at Durham

Ben Stokes hit a County Championship record 17 sixes in smashing 161 at Worcester on 6 May
Venue: Emirates Riverside, Chester-le-Street Date: Thursday 12 May-Sunday 15 May Time: 11:00 BST
Coverage: Live commentary and reports BBC Sport website & app; updates on BBC Radio Newcastle and BBC Radio Wales

Glamorgan are preparing for the challenge of facing in-form England captain Ben Stokes when they play Durham away in the Championship.

Stokes smashed 161 off 88 balls against Worcestershire in his first appearance since being named Test skipper.

He and Glamorgan’s Australia star Marnus Labuschagne are both named in the squads of their respective teams.

Glamorgan have named a 14-man squad including fit-again paceman Timm van der Gugten for the 12-15 May game.

Batter Billy Root and seamer Jamie McIlroy are also included in the party heading north, with Root smashing 175 not out on day two of a second XI fixture against Worcestershire.

Labuschagne is playing what could be his final four-day match of the season for Glamorgan, with South Africa’s Colin Ingram set to step in when he leaves in June.

Stokes is preparing for England’s Test series against New Zealand starting on 2 June and Glamorgan coach Matthew Maynard believes another appearance from him would be good for the county game.

“He’s a brilliant player and he showed in that innings on his comeback how destructive he can be in all formats,” Maynard told BBC Sport Wales.

“We’ve seen him do it against the Aussies at Headingley, he’s a world-class player and it’s a challenge to be playing against him but they (Durham) have a lot of good players, so he’s the icing on the cake.”

Alongside Stokes, Brydon Carse is set to make his first-team return for Durham at the Riverside.

The the 26-year-old last featured for Durham in the County Championship in July 2021 at Edgbaston against Warwickshire – but was withdrawn after day two due to his England ODI selection for their series against Pakistan.

While on England Lions duty in Australia, Carse suffered torn cartilage in his right knee and has been in rehabilitation for five months.

Glamorgan had to battle to save a draw in the opening fixture of the 2022 season against Durham in Cardiff, while they were heavily beaten by an innings in their trip to Chester-le-Street last September.

Captain David Lloyd is keen to right the wrongs of that encounter.

“Definitely, a lot of lads have got a lot of confidence at the moment, and if we go and play the way we know we can, stick to the plans we’ve set, there’s no reason we can’t go and challenge,” he said.

While Glamorgan beat Leicestershire last time out, Durham eventually drew their match at Worcester despite Stokes’ heroics and opener Sean Dickson taking his run of form to three consecutive hundreds.

“Our performance during the Worcestershire game have been a hell of a lot better than it has been the previous two matches,” Durham head coach James Franklin said.

“That is real progress for me. We took a step back the last two games, but this week seems like a positive step forward.

“From a batting point of view, there are some really nice signs and, not just myself, but a number of people in our dressing room are particularly pleased for Sean (Dickson).

“By his own admission, his last two years have been a little bit lean by his own standards but now he is showing everyone the class player he is.”

Durham (from): Bedingham, Borthwick (capt), Carse, Dickson, Eckersley, M Jones, Lees, Trevaskis, Petersen, Potts, Raine, Rushworth, Salisbury, Stokes.

Glamorgan (from): Lloyd (capt), Salter, Labuschagne, Northeast, Carlson, C Cooke, Root, Gorvin, Neser, Weighell, Harris, van der Gugten, Hogan, McIlroy.

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