LV= County Championship: Graeme Smith to skipper Surrey against Somerset
By Joe Drabble - Twitter: @SkySportsDrabs. Last Updated: 17/04/13 10:49am
The second round of LV= County Championship action begins on Wednesday, with six matches taking place across the two divisions.
The standout fixtures takes place at The Kia Oval where Graeme Smith leads Surrey into battle for the first time against his former county, Somerset, who are reeling from an opening round defeat to Durham.
The omens are not great for Marcus Trescothick's men, who have won just once on their last eight away trips to Surrey, however they are boosted by the availability of England opener Nick Compton and overseas recruit Alviro Petersen.
Of the three counties to taste an outright victory during a rain-hit opening round of matches, two are in action in round two.
Durham travel to Edgbaston on a high to take on reigning champions Warwickshire, however the Bears, who were unbeaten at home last season, will be keen for the points themselves after a low-scoring draw with Derbyshire last week.
Durham's victory over Somerset was only the 12th time in the last 10 years a team has won without any batsman scoring 50 and also ensured Paul Collingwood's fine run as captain continued.
Middlesex produced arguably the performance of the opening week with a stunning 10-wicket demolition of Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge and will have pace ace Steven Finn available when they host newly-promoted Derbyshire at Lord's.
No side was able to force a victory in Division Two last week and the closest side to do so, Hampshire, are fixture-less.
Kent get their first outing of the summer at Leicestershire, who were indebted to the weather for saving them from an innings defeat to Hants last time out.
Weather also spared Glamorgan from defeat in round one and the Welsh county will be hoping for a better batting display when they host Worcestershire at the SWALEC Stadium.
The remaining fixture sees Northamptonshire host Essex at the County Ground. The Steelbacks will have to keep a keen eye on Ravi Bopara, who has registered over 300 more LV= County Championship runs against Northants than any other team - scoring at least 150 in three of his last eight innings.