Worcestershire promoted despite loss
Worcestershire secured promotion despite a crushing eight-wicket defeat against Middlesex in the LV County Championship Division Two match at Kidderminster.
The result left the hosts a point short of guaranteeing their return to the top flight but Essex’s failure to get maximum bowling points against Warwickshire at Chelmsford ensured Worcestershire Division One status next season.
Middlesex easily reached their modest victory target of 67 to condemn the Division Two leaders to only their second defeat of the season.
It also ended their run of five wins, three draws and an abandonment against Glamorgan at Cardiff – a sequence which included a 10-wicket triumph over Middlesex at Lord’s in July.
The visitors took just 56 minutes of the third day to make sure Worcestershire ended their championship campaign on a losing note.
Andrew Strauss, a century-maker in his first innings, and Billy Godleman launched their side’s victory chase in front of a sparse crowd against pacemen AJ Harris and Dilhara Fernando.
Strauss quickly slotted into the boundary-hitting groove with four fours to his credit before Godleman pushed half-forward to Sri Lanka seamer Fernando and was trapped lbw for four.
His departure signalled the arrival of Owais Shah who put on 129 in 30 overs with Strauss in the first innings.
They soon carried on where they left off by pushing Worcestershire on to the 50 mark in the ninth over.
Shah, however, fell for a rapid 22 when he was caught at mid-off by Gareth Andrew off Chris Whelan before Middlesex wrapped up their third championship win of the summer by reaching 67 for two in 12.1 overs.
Strauss was defeated on 28 with five fours off 37 balls.