Middlesex defy Somerset and rain
Tim Murtagh finished with match figures of 10-77 as Middlesex completed an emphatic three-day LV= County Championship win over Somerset at Taunton by nine wickets.
The hosts began on 112 for five in their second innings, still 83 runs behind after following on, and made a fight of it thanks to Peter Trego and Jos Buttler before being bowled out for 265.
Murtagh took 6-49 from 21.5 overs. That left Middlesex needing 71 to win and they reached 72 for one in 12.3 overs. The visitors took 22 points and Somerset, who have yet to win a championship game this season only three.
At least the home side restored some pride with the efforts of Trego and Buttler, who had come together at 35 for five the previous afternoon.
They again showed sensible shot selection on a flat pitch against a wearing ball and extended their partnership to 122 before being parted in the 47th over of the innings.
Trego, on 82, drove at a wide ball from Murtagh and stood crestfallen as the catch was snapped up by Neil Dexter at gully. The all-rounder, unbeaten on 58 overnight, had faced 115 balls and hit 11 fours.
Alfonso Thomas helped Buttler add a further 28 for the seventh wicket before clipping a leg-side delivery from James Harris to Tom Smith at midwicket and departing for 19.
Buttler moved to a patient half-century off 124 balls, with seven fours, only occasionally demonstrating the powerful stroke-play, which makes him a world-class one-day batsman.
Jack Leach helped Buttler take the score to 208 for seven at lunch, which meant Somerset led by just 13 runs.
Rain brought a short interruption at 223 for seven before Leach was bowled off an inside-edge by left-arm spinner Smith for 21.
Buttler hit a straight six off Smith as he ran out of partners, but then appeared to check a drive off Gareth Berg and, with one hand off the bat, lofted a catch to mid-off to depart for 85.
He had faced 175 balls and hit 10 fours and a six in an innings spanning nearly four and a half hours.
Somerset led by 70 at 265 for nine when another shower forced an early tea. After the break, Middlesex took the second new ball and in the first over the ever-accurate Murtagh pinned Steve Kirby lbw for seven.
Despite a third and much longer rain break, with Middlesex 11 without loss, the players returned to the field at 6:20pm to finish the game.
Chris Rogers chopped a ball from Jamie Overton onto his stumps, having made 25, but Sam Robson and Joe Denly saw their team home, having claimed the extra half hour.
Meanwhile, Somerset have signed South African batsman Dean Elgar to replace Alviro Petersen, who has been called into South Africa's squad for the Champions Trophy.