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Struggling Somerset blow hole in Middlesex title hopes

Somerset strengthened their chances of avoiding relegation from LV= County Championship Division One by wrapping up an innings and 179-run win over Middlesex with almost a day and two sessions to spare.

Having made Middlesex follow-on 343 runs in arrears on Thursday, Somerset skittled the fourth-placed hosts for 164 second time around to wrap up only their second championship win of the campaign and a first in four-day cricket at Lord's since 1983.

Resuming on 52 for two, Middlesex suffered a further hammer blow to their title aspirations when they lost leading-scorer Sam Robson to the 16th ball of the day.

Pushing forward in defence to Lewis Gregory, the Australian-born opener edged to second slip where Marcus Trescothick took a reflex ankle-high catch to make it 69 for three.

Needing 343 simply to make the visitors bat for a second time, Middlesex had mustered 85 when Trescothick pouched another sharp chance to account for Dawid Malan - moments after the left-hander notched his 5,000th first-class run.

Soon afterwards John Simpson suffered a luckless run out when Neil Dexter's firm, straight drive was tipped onto the non-striker's stumps by Craig Meschede as he backed up.

Meschede was replaced at the Nursery End by England prospect Jamie Overton who struck with only his second ball by bowling Gareth Berg for a duck with a rapid yorker to make it 102 for six.

Trescothick was called into action once again in the 35th over, snaffling an overhead chance at second slip after Ollie Rayner's airy waft outside off against Alfonso Thomas to send Middlesex into lunch on 148 for seven.

In the sixth over after the resumption James Harris, playing back in defence to a lifting delivery from Gregory on 22, was unable to keep the ball down and it ballooned off the splice to be caught by the bowler following through.

Trescothick bagged his fifth catch in the cordon from a slashed Tim Murtagh drive then, four balls later, last man Ravi Patel lost his off stump to a yorker to end the game 20 minutes after lunch and give Gregory deserved career-best figures of 5-38 - his maiden five-wicket haul in first-class cricket.

Somerset moved out of the relegation zone after picking up 23 points while Middlesex banked only two.

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