Chadd Sayers is expected to return to Gloucestershire’s team for the Specsavers County Championship match with Middlesex at Merchant Taylors’ School, starting on Sunday, writes Richard Latham.

The 31-year-old Australian seamer, signed as an overseas replacement for the injured Dan Worrall, had to miss the last four-day game against Glamorgan at Bristol because of a strained quad muscle.

But Sayers is now bowling in the nets again and ready to build on what has proved a tough start to his Gloucestershire career.

Head coach Richard Dawson said: “Chadd faced two difficult pitches to bowl on against Sussex at Arundel and Leicestershire at Grace Road.

“It would have been interesting to see how he fared against Glamorgan because that wicket had more pace and carry.

“Unfortunately, he had picked up a niggle in his quad. But he seems fine again now and will come back into the squad for Middlesex.”

The Glamorgan match resulted in Gloucestershire’s first Championship defeat since last August and dented their hopes of grabbing one of the three promotion places up for grabs in the Second Division this season.

Since then Dawson’s men have played two one-day games against Australia A at Bristol, losing both, but the second by only nine runs.

“A lot of positives came out of those games for us,” said Dawson. “It was good to get in some more quality white-ball cricket ahead of the Vitality Blast.

“We got ourselves into a position to win the second match and couldn’t quite get across the line.

“That was disappointing, but most of our batsmen got runs over the two games and it was really interesting testing ourselves against top players.”

George Hankins, James Bracey twice, Ryan Higgins and Benny Howell all scored half-centuries against Australia A.

And, with 18-year-old Ben Charlesworth having announced his return for the summer following A’Levels, with an innings of 144 not out in a Second XI Championship match with Somerset at Rockhampton, Dawson has some thinking to do before choosing a batting line-up to face Middlesex.

Gloucestershire go into the game seventh in Division Two, but only 19 points behind third-placed Sussex with two games in hand on them.

Middlesex are surprisingly bottom, but only eight points adrift of Gloucestershire in a tightly-packed table.

Dawson said: “We cannot take anything for granted because every side can still harbour promotion ambitions. There is a lot of cricket still to be played.”