Worcestershire v Surrey
To coin a phrase often used in footballing circles, it is 'tickly bum' time for Worcestershire.
The Pears are entering the final hurdle of what they hope will be a successful promotion campaign and entertain Surrey.
The London aristocrats are 17 points clear at the top of the Liverpool Victoria County Championship Division Two with only Worcestershire and Essex realistically in contention to catch them.
If the Pears inflict another defeat on Surrey this week it will go a long way towards securing their promotion claims. It was at The Oval in May that Worcestershire's spluttering season finally kicked into life courtesy of a sensational victory.
Having conceded 501 runs in the first innings, it looked as though they were going to slip to their third defeat in as many games after defeats against Somerset and Derbyshire.
A declaration from the hosts left Worcestershire chasing the improbable target of 287 from 32 overs after a rain-affected final day.
Steve Rhodes' mantra all season has been positive cricket and it finally bore fruit with a quite incredible triumph.
Phil Jaques' 64-ball century was a taster of things to come from Worcestershire's Australian import and the crowning glory arrived when Zaheer Khan swung Nayan Doshi for six off the penultimate ball.
Five wins and three draws later, Worcestershire are amongst the front runners and expect to field the side that thrashed Glamorgan by 311 runs last week.
Worcestershire have five games remaining to Essex's four and with Ronnie Irani's men set to visit New Road in September, it is important they maintain a healthy gap.
And with Daryl Mitchell stepping into Graeme Hick's shoes with aplomb at Colwyn Bay last week (134 not out), their promotion bandwagon shows no sign of decelerating.
With Jaques (left) now back on track after his enforced absence with Australia, the Pears are firing on all cylinders.
The mercurial opener has plundered 1046 runs in a belligerent style that has set the tone for this exciting season.
At an average of 95.09, he finds himself fourth in the Division Two table with Mark Ramprakash directly above him.
The former England batsman has an average of 111.31 this summer and the performance of both these two batsmen s hould be pivotal to proceedings.
Yet Ramprakash will have to block out the menacing figure of Matt Mason who has recovered his best form.
The Australian with an Irish passport who qualified to pay for England could still catch the eye of Duncan Fletcher, such is that paucity of pace bowlers available to the national coach.
With Zaheer Khan taking all the plaudits through April and May, Mason was toiling with little success.
Yet match-winning figures against Northamptonshire (five for 59), Gloucestershire (eight for 45) and Glamorgan (four for 56) as well as five for 49 in the draw against Derbyshire have been crucial to keep their season chugging long nicely.
Mason's 34 Championship wickets have come at an average of 19.44, which has lifted him above Zaheer in the rankings.
So the auguries are good for Worcestershire to achieve a result against Surrey and, if they could inflict a second defeat of the summer on the title favourites, it would take a disastrous run to deny them promotion.