Lord's (third day): Worcestershire (361 and 105-0, 21pts) defeated Middlesex (300 and 164, 6pts) by 10 wickets.
Five wickets in only 34 balls by Gareth Batty fired Worcestershire to a 10-wicket win over Middlesex and to the lead of Division Two in the County Championship at Lord’s.d
The inspired spell of bowling by the former England off-spinner, who took five for 33, included his taking the wickets of Ben Scott, Shaun Udal and Dawid Malan without conceding a run as Middlesex were all for 164 leaving the visitors to score 104 for victory.
Thanks to Stephen Moore’s 55 in 56 balls, they polished off the runs in only 17 overs as Daryl Mitchell chipped in with 48. The win, achieved with a day to spare, was Worcestershrie’s second 10-wicket success in a row following the victory over Glamorgan at New Road last Sunday.
The 21 points Worcestershire gained moved them to the top of the table, above Warwickshire who have a match in hand.
Middlesex, in another poor display, suffered a second successive championship defeat.
The visitors, resuming on 350 for nine, extended their first-innings lead to 61 before Imran Arif was leg-before on the back foot to Murali Kartik, the Indian left-arm off-spinner.
The experiment of using Ed Joyce as opening batsman failed dismally as the skipper was dismissed third ball, without having scored, caught behind off Kabir Ali who bowled quite beautifully during the first session.
Kabir then snapped up Nick Compton for one in the fifth over to leave Middlesex four for two. That soon became 21 for three when Eoin Morgan (six) was run out from Kabir’s deflection following a brilliant drive by Owais Shah.
Gareth Andrew took a wicket in his first over as Shah (six) edged a drive to Graeme Hick at second slip.
Malan and Scott delayed the inevitable with an impressive stand of 113 in 25 overs before the introduction of Batty resulted in Scott, on 58, being beaten by the turn and caught at slip.
Batty followed that up in his next over with the wicket of Udal who, after his first-innings 91, had still to score when he was caught off a top-edged sweep.
Batty’s smart return catch ended Malan’s stay at 52 - on 139 for seven.
The spinner then accounted for Kartik and Evans in quick succession - the pair respectively caught at backward point for seven and pouched behind for nought.
A brief stand of 13 between Steve Finn and Tim Murtagh was broken when Andrew bowled Finn for five in the over before tea, Murtagh being 13 not out.