Cricket: James determined to impress selectors

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The Independent Online
Steve James may well have been awarded an England cap this summer had he been amassing his runs for a more fashionable side. But, with the domestic season coming to its climax, the Glamorgan opening batsman at least finds himself in the right place at the right time with the Welsh county pushing for their first Championship trophy for 28 years.

James can enhance his claims for a place on the winter's West Indies tour by adding to his haul of 1,666 runs in a chase to the Britannic Assurance title with Kent and Gloucestershire. "I feel more confident and would be ready now if the England call came," he said.

Glamorgan, though, are sweating on their captain, Matthew Maynard, being fit for the trip. He dislocated a finger in last week's victory over Northamptonshire and is regarded as only 50-50 to play, but James's opening partner, Hugh Morris, has recovered from an ankle injury.

Leicestershire's South African all-rounder, Neil Johnson (Achilles tendon), and the England left-armer Alan Mullally (groin) also late fitness checks.

Kent will be without their fast bowler Martin McCague when they face Hampshire at Portsmouth. But they could hardly have a better replacement for McCague than England's Dean Headley, fit again after missing The Oval Test with a bruised heel.

Gloucestershire, third in the table six points behind Kent, have the former England fast bowler David Lawrence back in the reckoning for the visit of Nottinghamshire to Bristol.

Sussex and Surrey will be involved in a floodlit Sunday League match at Hove, where 1,900 temporary seats have been installed to bring the capacity up to 5,500.

RACE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP

P W L D Bt Bw Pts

Glam (10) 13 6 2 5 37 41 189

Kent (4) 13 6 4 3 32 45 187

Gloucs (13) 13 6 3 4 29 44 181

Yorks (6) 13 5 2 6 28 44 170

Worcs (7) 13 4 1 8 36 40 169

Middx (9) 13 5 4 4 24 42 158

Essex (5) 13 4 4 5 33 43 155

Surrey (3) 13 4 3 6 32 39 153

Leics (1) 14 3 1 10 32 42 152

Warwicks (8) 13 4 2 7 22 37 144

Lancs (15) 13 4 5 4 27 38 141

Som'set (11) 13 2 2 9 32 48 139

Notts (17) 13 3 2 8 17 45 134

Hants (14) 13 2 4 7 33 30 116

Northants (16) 13 2 5 6 24 35 109

Durham (18) 13 2 5 6 17 41 108

Derbys (2) 13 1 7 5 24 48 103

Sussex (12) 14 1 8 5 21 48 100

(1996 positions in brackets)

Remaining fixtures

Today

Derbyshire v Somerset

Essex v Warwickshire

Gloucestershire v Nottinghamshire

Hampshire v Kent

Lancashire v Yorkshire

Leicestershire v Glamorgan

Northamptonshire v Durham

Tomorrow

Sussex v Surrey

2 Sept: Derbys v Northants, Durham v Warwicks, Kent v Gloucs, Lancs v Essex, Notts v Hants, Somerset v Middx, Surrey v Glam, Yorks v Worcs.

10 Sept: Durham v Somerset, Glam v Essex, Hants v Sussex, Middx v Notts, Northants v Leics, Surrey v Lancs, Warwicks v Gloucs, Worcs v Derby, Yorks v Kent.

18 Sept (inc Sunday play): Derbys v Yorks, Essex v Middx, Gloucs v Lancs, Hants v Worcs, Kent v Surrey, Leics v Durham, Somerset v Glam, Sussex v Notts, Warwicks v Northants.

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