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Byline: James Milton

WEST INDIES v NEW ZEALAND Sky Sports2,2 .30pm LANCASHIRE v MIDDLESEX Sky Sports 1, 4.40pm RAVI BOPARA and Graham Onions were yesterday named in the England squad for the first Test against South Africa which starts at The Oval on Thursday, writes James Milton.

Bopara, whose impressive one-day form has earned him a recall to the Test squad, is likely to bat at No. 6 and the Essex man is 10-1 with Ladbrokes to topscore for his side in the first innings at The Oval. Hills go 5-4 that Bopara plays in the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge next July and he is 4-7 to miss out.

Durham paceman Onions and the in-form Steven Finn are pushing for places in the 11 and England's strength in depth is reflected by their odds of 11-10 to win the three-match series. Andrew Strauss's men are 16-1 for a 3-0 series victory.

Today's televised action comes from the contrasting climates of St Kitts, where West Indies take on New Zealand in the fifth ODI, and Manchester, where light rain is forecast for Lancashire's CB40 game against Middlesex at Old Trafford.

The West Indies sealed victory in the one-day series with a 24-run win on Saturday and they are 1-2 to complete a 4-1 series triumph in Basseterre today.

New Zealand should be a more competitive side with Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor bolstering their fragile batting and Taylor gave an instant reminder of his quality in the fourth ODI. Returning from a shoulder injury, the Kiwi skipper hit a high-class 110 - t he next best score was Rob Nicol's 35 - and he looks a good-value favourite to top-score today.

Middlesex walloped Lancashire by 167 runs in the reverse fixture at Lord's in the second week of June, when Paul Stirling and Eoin Morgan scored centuries in a total of 350-6. Both Irishmen should feature at Old Trafford this afternoon and the visitors could be worth a small bet at evens. Middlesex's game against Leicestershire yesterday was a wash-out but they remain on the heels of surprise Group A leaders Holland and have the batting talent to cause a minor upset today. England squad for first Test v South Africa (starts Thursday, The Oval): A Strauss (captain), J Anderson, I Bell, R Bopara, T Bresnan, S Broad, A Cook, S Finn, G Onions, K Pietersen, M Prior, G Swann, J Trott.

Recommendations R Taylor top New Zealand runscorer 1pt 7-2 bet365, Coral, Ladbrokes Middlesex 2pts Evs bet365, BetVictor HEAD-TO-HEADS WEST INDIES v NEW ZEALAND Jul 12 WI 24 runs Basseterre WI 264, NZ 240 Jul 12 NZ 88 runs Basseterre NZ 249/9, WI 161 Jul 12 WI 55 runs Kingston WI 315/5, NZ 260 Jul 12 WI 9 wkts* Kingston WI 136/1, NZ 190/9 Jan 09 NZ 9 runs* Napier WI 293/9, NZ 211/5 Jan 09 No result Auckland NZ 275/4, WI 64/0 Jan 09 NZ 7 wkts Wellington WI 128, NZ 129/3 Jan 09 WI 5 wkts* C'church NZ 152/8, WI 158/5 Dec 08 No result Q'nstown WI 129/5 Mar 07 NZ 7 wkts Nth Sound WI 177, NZ 179/3 27 West Indies wins, 21 New Zealand wins,* D/L method FORMGUIDE v WEST INDIES (h) W 24 runs N Zealand (h) L 88 runs N Zealand (h) W 55 runs N Zealand (h) W 9 wkts* N Zealand (a) No result England (a) L 8 wkts England (a) L 114 runs England (h) L 30 runs Australia (h) W 42 runs Australia (h) Match tied Australia * D/L method NEW ZEALAND (a) L 24 runs W Indies (a) W 88 runs W Indies (a) L 55 runs W Indies (a) L 9 wkts* W Indies (h) L 5 wkts Sth Africa (h) L 6 wkts Sth Africa (h) L 6 wkts Sth Africa (h) W 202 runs Zimbabwe (h) W 141 runs Zimbabwe (h) W 90 runs Zimbabwe * D/L method STANDINGS CB40 GROUP A P W LNR T Pts RR Holland.............9 5 3 1 0 11 -0.217 Middx ...............7 3 2 2 0 8 0.728 Gloucs...............6 3 2 1 0 7 1.521 Worcs................7 3 4 0 0 6 0.453 Lancs ................5 3 2 0 0 6 -0.719 Leics..................8 2 4 2 0 6 -0.912 Essex.................6 1 3 2 0 4 -0.826 CB40 GROUP C P W LNR T Pts RR Warks................6 4 1 1 0 9 1.088 Sussex ..............6 3 0 3 0 9 1.638 Kent ..................5 2 1 2 0 6 0.408 Derbys ..............7 2 3 2 0 6 -0.204 Yorks.................5 2 2 1 0 5 0.133 Unicorns ...........8 1 4 3 0 5 -1.756 Northants .........7 0 3 4 0 4 -0.536 FORMGUIDE GROUP A LANCASHIRE v MIDDLESEX (a) L 167 runs Middx (h) No result Leics (h) W 12 runs* Worcs (h) W 167 runs Lancs (a) L 1 wkt Holland (h) No result Holland (h) W 28 runs Essex (a) L 56 runs Worcs (h) W 5 runs Leics (a) W 31 runs Leics (a) W 8 wkts Holland GROUP C SUSSEX v KENT (a) No result Warks (h) No result Northants (h) No result Derbys (a) No result Unicorns (a) No result Unicorns (h) W 10 wkts Warks (h) W 4 wkts Yorks (h) L 4 wkts Unicorns (a) W 12 runs Nhants (a) W 4 wkts Yorks (h) W 144 runs Unicorns * D/L method

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jul 16, 2012
Words:937
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